2019-04-13: Nightroad Hijinks

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==============================<* Mi'ihen Highroad *>==============================

Many years ago, a man named Lord Mi'ihen, commander of a mercenary group known as the Crimson Blades, was summoned by the Grand Measter to Bevelle to answer the challenge that his group was a threat to Yevon. Though his followers suspected he would be executed and begged to follow, Mi'ihen ordered them to stay behind and walked along an old path to Bevelle, without stopping to rest. 

Moved by the display of piety, the Grand Maester formally adopted Mi'ihen and his soldiers into Yevon as a defensive force, known now as the Crusaders. In recognition of the momentous moment, the path Mi'ihen walked now bears his name.

...except not really, because the original one was wrecked by Sin a few hundred years ago. You can still see bits of it as you pass along the Highroad, on which the Djose Temple can also be found.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tfe_H7bzw
DG: A party led by Prissa is now entering Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Smells Like... *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 As the Caravan is eased onto the Highroad and the lights of Luca fade in the  
 distance, a strange fragrance fills the air. To some it may be nostalgic, to  
 others faintly nauseous, but the aroma has a certain... avian character. A    
 certain... ornithological bent.                                               
                                                                               
 Had you not heard? It was the understanding that everyone had... heard.       
                                                                               
 Suddenly it becomes clear from the chorus of soft kwehs and the passage of    
 many strong and muscular feet, the nails rasping over the highroad            
 flagstones forming a pizzicato counterchorus. The Caravan Kinship has found   
 itself in the middle of a vast, nocturnal, unexplained chocobo migration and  
 must somehow negotiate a route through, in order to direct the Caravan        
 forwards.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
DG: You have left Prissa's party.
DG: A party led by Prissa is now entering Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Smells Like... *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 As the Caravan is eased onto the Highroad and the lights of Luca fade in the  
 distance, a strange fragrance fills the air. To some it may be nostalgic, to  
 others faintly nauseous, but the aroma has a certain... avian character. A    
 certain... ornithological bent.                                               
                                                                               
 Had you not heard? It was the understanding that everyone had... heard.       
                                                                               
 Suddenly it becomes clear from the chorus of soft kwehs and the passage of    
 many strong and muscular feet, the nails rasping over the highroad            
 flagstones forming a pizzicato counterchorus. The Caravan Kinship has found   
 itself in the middle of a vast, nocturnal, unexplained chocobo migration and  
 must somehow negotiate a route through, in order to direct the Caravan        
 forwards.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
As night falls on the city of Luca, a judgment call is made.

It's time to go.

Infused with lightning magic, the Caravan backs gently up - quietly, almost eerily in its silence - and pulls forwards, onto the road itself. A long loop, what was once the exit onto the Oldroad... around and past the Crusader checkpoint...

Only the stars are watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tfe_H7bzw

Prissa has appointed herself the vanguard of this journey. The Highroad is not well lit, although there is sufficient radiance from the Blue Star and the less-capitalized stars in the heavens to at least see the outline of the road in front of you. There is gloom, yes, but by keeping lights low, one gains some view of the distance, while losing the possibility of details.

Prissa is holding some kind of piece of bobble net floater that has had some... thing stuck into it. Machina, probably. She also probably bought it on the down low from her people, the Al Bhed, who were lurking around Luca. Even if Prissa herself did not seem pleased at that turn of events involving weapons smuggling...

"I think we are far enough away from the stand that it is safe to talk," Prissa opines.

"Kweh," agrees a voice nearby.

"See, the chocobo agrees," Prissa says, immediately before a chocobo beaks her head gently. This is not aggressive; though, of course, she freezes up, feeling the enormous, coconut-crushing beak of the great bird as it puts its mouth on top of her head. Those who turn on brighter lights can see the eerie black tongue that so many birds have poke down, test Prissa's hair, stir her braids, judge her not edible, release, and move onwards.

"kweh" "kwehhh" "kweh" "waaark..."

The fragrance builds. As does the thickness. How many birds can this road sustain? Yet they seem to be travelling under the protection of darkness... just like they are.

Prissa leaps up to grasp onto the side of the Caravan because *there is almost nowhere to stand in the road*.

"This is going to be tricky," Prissa says. "There, you see that old building?" She points up - and then opens a caravan window, leaning in, and fishing out one of her javelins and tugging on the rope. She hurls the javelin towards the ruin, where hopefully the head will sink in and anchor properly.

"Perhaps from there we can see the way."

DG: Prissa has used her Tool Zipline Javelin toward her party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

There's something familiar about traveling at night, in a place far from civilization. It reminds Catenna a lot of being on the road in southern Elru, beyond the fringes of Elesius.

They are memories that come with a mixed bag of emotions. Joyous ones mingled together with sadder ones - thoughts of a time she can never return to, for better or for worse. But at least the stars are all she needs.

And at least this time she isn't alone. She's moving along behind Prissa, smiling a little as she goes.

The woman tells them it's alright to talk and something else agrees. "Yes, 'kweh,'" she concedes.

Then she pauses as a chocobo mouths Prissa in the head. Catenna pauses, going stock-still for a moment.

<It does seem like someone heard, at least,> Saarda-Shanta points out from her perch on Catenna's shoulder. <But then, it was my impression that no one had heard.>

Catenna squints into the darkness - and even in the starlight, she can spot them. A mass of birds ruffling their way through the dark. "...They must be migrating," she murmurs, uncoiling her own grappling hook and lobbing it up the CaraKin.

Metal clinks against metal before the hook hitches on some jutting piece of equipment up there. With a quick movement, Catenna boosts herself to the top of the CaraKin. She squints into the night, watching Prissa's javelin fly.

"I think I see it," she says, trying to keep her voice low. "Veer a little around to the right. I think the birds are... drifting left-ish."

DG: Catenna has used her Tool Grappling Hook toward her party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

It was time to move. And, if possible, quietly. Jacqueline sits behind the wheel of the Carakin, urging it quietly, slowly forward. She has a clear view of the others around her, helping the vehicle forward with Prissa leading the way. They needed to move quietly and stealthily under the cover of night.

For that reason, the Carakin wasn't operating on full power - just enough to make it go, but not enough to produce any real speed...or, thankfully, noise.

And then she exhales, as Prissa decides they're probably far enough away that it's safe to talk. Jacqueline exhales.

"Thank goodness..." She murmurs. They weren't out of the woods yet, but the silence was killing her - she wasn't cut out for stealth and subterfuge.

And then there's a sound. 'Kweh'? Jacqueline looks up, blinking.

"...Um, did anyone else hear...?"

There it is again. She peers out the window, staring as she sees the others surrounded by a herd of chocobo.

"O-oh dear..." Jacqueline murmurs. ...This complicates things. If it was just them it would be fine, but moving through a herd of chocobo with the Carakin...she certainly didn't want to hurt any of them.

Jacqueline rummages through her bags looking for something specific before eventually drawing out a bottle of repellant, holding it out for someone to take.

"Here, this might be able to make them give us a path...do you all know how to use it?" Jacqueline asks. For her part, she'll be directing the Carakin carefully so as to avoid bumping into any chocobo.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius has, for the most part, kept quiet and hands-off since some of the initial episodes of unambiguous panic on his part - a panic that mirrored the very first time they all set foot on Lunar (which feels so long ago, though it was roughly in the span of a year). It's an upsetting and abrupt situation for the circumstances that brought them there, but with Prissa's help - thus far - a more concrete plan for seeing to the safety of the CaraKin and its travelers seems to be underway, and he has yet to (attempt to) impose himself in the proceedings anew.
     This is a good sign.
     For the time being Ethius has just grabbed a hold of whatever cloak is handy - it might not even be a perfect fit for him, but a part of him seems to strongly desire to remain obscured as much as possible - and as the herd emerges, Ethius has already found his way to the top of the CaraKin through one of its windows. (He has made it a point to master any number of bizarre ways to leave the vehicle without ever going through any of the main 'halls,' because he is like that.)
     From there, on the roof, he's already securing the harness for his makeshift personal floatation device of an 'above water' nature, one Symbological spell later filling a patchy-looking sack with hot air. It lets him hover at his present elevation. The CaraKin itself is an elevated position. This allows him freedom to 'station' himself without need for solid footing underneath and help make calls as to chocobo movements that he can make out in the veil of darkness.
     ...So long as none of the chocobos decide to reach up and taste his shoes.
     His other hand firmly presses against the lower half of his face, pushing cloth against it as firmly as possible. This is a man who is not usually moved by being in the presence of death's less pleasant sensory qualities.
     That says a lot about the mere scent of the chocobo flock!!

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Hot Air Sack toward his party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre has already had one encounter with the big fluffy birds native to Spira. It was what might be described as... intimate? How else do you properly describe 'being flung head-first into a Chocobo's fluffy, feathery flank?'

 His opinion? They're fine critters, big and gentle and friendly, like horses except not. Emus, except not. They're somewhere between the two. Maybe they should take a few of them back to Filgaia? Get a breeding population started? They'd probably do better in the harsh scrublands of Ignas than most horses. Maybe less well than camels, but chocobos are cuter, so that's a nice big benefit.

Cyre is taking the time to do a bit of stargazing from atop the Carakin, appreciating constellations that are just ever so slightly shifted out of place. Travelling at night is... pleasant, for many reasons. The night breeze, carrying the scent of the nearby ocean, blows gently across his face. It's relaxing, almost as much as laying near the seaside. But then...

Something... something not nearby, makes an unfamiliar noise.

It sounds distinctly like 'Kweh.'

"Uhh," Cyre says, sitting up with a start as great avian feet hammer out a rolling, thunderous rhythm. "That sounds like--"

And smells like--

"--Stampede!"

A stampede! Of chocobos!

Cyre whispers a curse, leaping into the air. The breeze catches his parachute, spreading it full and wide, carrying him far up beyond the reach of the charging chocobos. "Steady the course!" Cyre yells below. "I'll try to nudge the herd aside!"

With great gusts of wind!

These are birds, right? They should have at least some kind of 'get pushed by the wind' instincts.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Reverse Parachute toward his party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 Arleph is on the caravan. He's certainly not going to be out there, walking alongside it. Instead, he is spending most of his time on the systems of the Caravan to make sure things have enough juice and grunt to keep working at the 'speed' it is required -- all with as little noise as possible. As he added some of his own Symbology to aid on the Caravan's functions.
 
 "Do you think so?" Arleph says out, a hand covered in spinning Symbology as most of his concentration is et on the sides of the Caravan, looking at things only he can see right this moment. "We have went away pretty fast that it is a wonder that everyone is on board at this moment."
 
 He looks away briefly, taking off his hat to wipe off his brow to look ahead. "I'm amazed we've managed to get out of Luca despite what happened, honestly -- do you all smell that?"
 
 Somehow, it is Arleph's nose that picks up the Chocobos first, the cries of the birds second. The symbologist looks up, blinking up ahead in the darkness where the stampede is coming their way. He sucks in a breath.
 
 "Giving it more power, Jay!" Arleph calls out, his circle on his hand spinning more rapidly as he, well, tries to give it more juice.

DG: Arleph Ardan has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Smells Like....
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

The captain let the group stay as long as they wished before evening and it was time to get a move on with the Caravan.

Hoo boy has Lydia had character development in the future from now, but right now? Right now she's being pretty cheery all told. She hasn't quite gotten what Spira is about yet beyond the basics Prissa has provided and she has a feeling Prissa is exagerating (she is not). She says, "Sweet," to Prissa once she's finally allowed to take the poncho off which she does immediately. Yeah it's gonna be tough to hide Lydia less because of her augs and more because of her personality.

She hangs out near Prissa and says, "Oh!"

"Oh!! I have an idea here."

Lydia ends up hopping off the Carakin and skating forward, heading right for the chocobos and sends dust kicking up from her skates in their direction to encourage them to take a path a bit further away from the Carakin! Eventually she ends up hopping back. Yeah of course Lydia's reaction to 'stampede' would be to try and outstampede the stampede.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Smells Like....
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Smells Like... *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 As the Caravan is eased onto the Highroad and the lights of Luca fade in the  
 distance, a strange fragrance fills the air. To some it may be nostalgic, to  
 others faintly nauseous, but the aroma has a certain... avian character. A    
 certain... ornithological bent.                                               
                                                                               
 Had you not heard? It was the understanding that everyone had... heard.       
                                                                               
 Suddenly it becomes clear from the chorus of soft kwehs and the passage of    
 many strong and muscular feet, the nails rasping over the highroad            
 flagstones forming a pizzicato counterchorus. The Caravan Kinship has found   
 itself in the middle of a vast, nocturnal, unexplained chocobo migration and  
 must somehow negotiate a route through, in order to direct the Caravan        
 forwards.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 1 *>================
==========================< Results - Smells Like... >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Zipline Javelin                     2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catenna                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Grappling Hook                      2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Reverse Parachute                   1   Agility Effects: Rally and Quicken    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Hot Air Sack                        2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Prissa                      0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Tire(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)|Resilient(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Prissa 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: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - A Wheel Fell Off *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Inspired, perhaps, by the prospects of the teachings of Yevon, or a sudden    
 desire to become a Blitzball free agent, one of the Caravan's wheels          
 abruptly pops off and goes rolling merrily into the distance. The rest of     
 the Caravan, naturally enough, comes to a halt. Further progress will         
 require you to recover the tire, somehow hoist up the Caravan, and reattach   
 it. This would be easier during the day, but you know what else would be      
 easier during the day time? Getting accused of heresy by Yevon, that's what!  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
Prissa gut-forces her way to the top of that building, saying to herself as she does some kind of al-bhedism of effort. To Catenna, she says, "Ah? Does the owl - ah yes, that is good. Yes, good." She gestures towards the others with her little witch-light.

The repellent lands on the right hand side of the path... and one particular chocobo, this one moulting around the eyes and with some white fading in its head plumage, steps forwards to investigate the repellent landing site. It seems puzzled.

When Ethius passes over head, the older chocobo raises its head, beak-nipping at his feet without force, but only curiosity.

But then this great leader hears a word. "Kweh?" it says.

Hopping onto a small boulder, it looks around. It flaps its little winglets.

"Kweh," it continues. "Kweh...??"

Because that word...

that thought passing through the air... S T A M P E D E ...

"Kweh!" FLap flap flap.

And the chocobos begin to shift into a trot. Moving like a living yellow river past the Caravan's leftward flank, even as Lydia dashes away, her high speed manever letting her vault over the top of the chocobos and find a superior, more comfortable angle.

"Smell is normal," Prissa calls from her perch.

And then the birds... pass. Into the wilds of Spira.

A natural miracle. And all of them heading to the left.

Prissa looks up at Cyre as he hovers.

She seems thoughtful, but without saying anything, she leaps down onto the Caravan roof.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline exhales in relief once more, this time as the chocobo river diverges from them, disappearing into the night.

"...Okay, let's continue moving-" Jacqueline stops. There is, briefly, a terrible sound. One of the Carakin's wheels catches on something overturned by the passing of the chocobo's passing. Something that would otherwise be small and insignificant, but to a large vehicle, is just enough to pop the wheel right off its socket and send it rolling away.

"...Thaaat's a bad sign... Quick, someone catch it! We don't have the resources to make another wheel right now." Jacqueline says and sighs again, this time out of exasperation. She gets out of the driver seat and emerges from the vehicle, looking it around until she spots the problem section.

It doesn't look bad, thankfully.

"It'll probably be fine if we can get it reattached, but..." ...But it was dark, so finding the wheel and putting it back on would both be that much more difficult. Not to mention lifting the Carakin back up, with the way it was listing a little due to being off-balance.

Jacqueline slips on one of her gauntlets and draws one of her Crests, inserting it into a slot.

"I'll try lifting it with Sorcery, but I may need some help getting it just right." Jacqueline says. She gestures with her left hand, invoking the Crest. The earth rises up - slowly and gently, to lift the vehicle while trying to avoid causing any damage to it or scratching it up at all.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Landscaper Crest toward her party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Oh, hello, dear heart," Catenna says as she realizes Cyre is on top of the CaraKin with her.

Then he starts shouting. Catenna winces a little.

<If they hadn't heard the chocobos already, then anyone out there not halfway into the grave has heard us now,> Saarda-Shanta points out, fluffing her wings out slightly.

Reaching out, Catenna rests her hand on Cyre's shoulder and gives a little squeeze.

Until the CaraKin suddenly jerks under her, anyway. Catenna gasps and grabs ahold of Cyre, pressing into his side as the vehicle jostles and sags on the one side as it tries to settle onto a tire that is no longer there.

Once the lurching has stopped, the blushing Moon Shaman releases her grip on Cyre. "Goodness, how startling," she breathes, hand at her collar. Pulling herself up onto her knees, she looks off in the direction the wheel went.

With a little huff, Catenna boosts herself off the roof and down to the ground, moving to help Jay with the only real tool she's got in the toolbox for this: Her muscles? She kneels as she maneuvers the wheel, helping Jay guide it into place.

"We need to get it aligned just right with those screw holes, Jay--"

DG: Catenna has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius has a momentary startle as the older chocobo nips at his feet in curiosity. It takes the entirety of his discipline to not pull his leg up, lest the chocobo be inclined to take his shoe. There's a residual ache from where the beak briefly clasps, but as he is suspended in mid-air he is free to drift along and give it a little time before it has to touch down. As the chocobo stampede heads off, Ethius exhales loudly with a cough. If that smell is 'normal,' then...
     His eyes widen to some other stimulus. Mechanical. He has always been attuned to the telltale signs of certain mechanical constructs and their operation - and their malfunction. The latter, especially. Even when he doesn't have clean line of sight between himself and something 'popping,' he knows as though by base instinct as to when something is breaking. Usually he finds himself relieved or satisfied to hear such a thing.
     This is not one of those times.
     In the darkness, he can only catch the faint outline of the escaping wheel. He cannot drift fast enough in mid-air to follow it. His foot speed is faster. He allows himself to correct the course of the Hot Air Sack's drifting towards the CaraKin, and hastily undoes the harness to let himself drop to the ground. The sack gains some altitude from the lack of human-weight load but will collapse back down onto the ground without any further hot air feeding it.
     Ethius does not hear Jay's words about being unable to make another wheel. It would not stop him even if he did, charging off into the dangerous, deadly wilds by following the distinct sound of the wheel rolling and bouncing as though he were chasing a bomb that could go off at any point. As though this single, humble, malfunctioning wheel were a deadly weapon about to deliver its unspeakably tragic payload.
     Absolutely no brush will stop him, mind already processing a reasonable picture of the lay of the land before him by the way the runaway wheel bounces, rolls, and otherwise makes different noises depending on what features it impacts against (dirt vs. rock).
     He will not let that wheel escape him, as though a solemn vow pledged before a high spiritual authority.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

*POP* *Kleeengongrollrollrollroll*
 
 "Was... that a wheel?" Arleph calls out, looking and peeking out of the Caravan to peer outside. He shoves himself outside as well, scrambling down into a roll(and several curses) to stagger out. He peels back looking up and down at the caravan and specailly where they have lost a wheel. "Alright, lift it up, I'll get a prop going."
 
 He rummages in his pockets, looking upward at the people on the roof. "Hey! Get yourselves steady, it might rock a little bit!" He says, taking out a very familiar ball of clay covered in symbology. Arlpeh strikes a finger along the sides, his hand glowing blue as he does. Only a small streak is opened as he roll it beneath the caravan, planting it nicely on the edge.
 
 There is not catastrophic clash of light or devouring plasma. Instead, a simple spide of ice erupts out, giving a prop for the Caravan to rest upon until the wheel is reattached.

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Symbological Bomb toward his party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Bah, Cyre wasn't yelling that loudly. Besides, how else is anyone supposed to communicate over the susurrus of rampaging birds? Sometimes a little shouting is necessary!

Cyre lands with a quiet huff as the herd (hivemind?!) of chocobos flows on by, returning to the darkness from whence they first emerged. Truly, Spira is a land of miracles and mysteries. The shaman is about to say something witty and poignant when something warm nearby abruptly interrupts his line of thought. Cyre's ~spooky cat eyes~ peer warmly over toward Catenna over what must be a smile when SUDDENLY--

*CHANK*

*CLA-CLUNK*

The Carakin pitches, screeching to an abrupt and sudden stop. Cyre almost goes tumbling! "What was that?" Cyre asks, having... only basically rudimentary mechanical know-how, but even he can guess that it was 'nothing at all good.' The shaman's expressive turns contemplative when Jay summarizes their most recent thatch of bad luck.

"Here, let me," Cyre says, hopping down toward the offending wheel well. He fiddles with that cast iron incense burner, turning it into something not unlike a hooded lantern, if one that smells particularly pleasant. That might help more than the light it provides, actually. The chocobo scent still lingers like an awful, bird-y miasma, after all.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Invigorating Vapors toward his party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
A wheel rolls off into the night. "Huh," Prissa says. Then, "CATCH IT OR IT WILL GO TO OLDROAD"

Ethius is after it.

Prissa sucks on her teeth. But...

Well, they have no good choice, do they? She dismounts, hanging her lightglobe on the side of the Kinship where a lantern might go in happier times, and moves round to where it fell off. "Hold on, actually," she says, before going inside, swearing at the tilt of the interior, and emerging with her sledgehammer.

"I will whack it into place if need be," she explains to Jay. "It should be good enough. If there is a missing piece, they can cast it at the agency. Or something almost so good."

Hopefully. "Do you have a spare wheel?"

MEANWHILE, ON FILGAIA

A package sits in the warehouse at Hetfield Industries. 'SPARE WHEELS FOR CARAVAN KINS. - FORWARD QUICKEST - POSTMASTER FIND THESE WOMEN'

A stamp indicates that it has been returned by the Delegated Adelhyde Royal Post Authority.

DG: Prissa has used her Tool A Hammer toward her party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren kicks her legs back and forth lazily as she considers economic prospects in a city in which most of her money doesn't mean much. It's not very appetizing but at least she has pirates around to lend a hand. Crusaders? She's not really sure what the difference between the two is.

Lydia, naturally, will work on actually fixing the damn wheel with her tools once the wheel has been found and held back into place. She whistles with her screwdriver, jabbing it in with a kind of frenetic mad energy that keeps her moving speedily and at pace. Periodically she bashes something in with her metal bat just to be quicker about it. This is her style of 'fixing things' and it usually works out well!

"Pah it's just a wheel! When we make the Carocket Ship, it'll be a lot tougher than this!"

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, A Wheel Fell Off.
====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>====================
======================<* CHALLENGE - A Wheel Fell Off *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Inspired, perhaps, by the prospects of the teachings of Yevon, or a sudden    
 desire to become a Blitzball free agent, one of the Caravan's wheels          
 abruptly pops off and goes rolling merrily into the distance. The rest of     
 the Caravan, naturally enough, comes to a halt. Further progress will         
 require you to recover the tire, somehow hoist up the Caravan, and reattach   
 it. This would be easier during the day, but you know what else would be      
 easier during the day time? Getting accused of heresy by Yevon, that's what!  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
===============<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 2 *>===============
========================< Results - A Wheel Fell Off >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
A Hammer                            2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catenna                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Invigorating Vapors                 1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Symbological Bomb                   3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Landscaper Crest                    3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Prissa                      20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Prissa 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> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

With a surge of power Jacqueline's earth and Arleph's ice combine forces, levering the vehicle up just enough that the wheel well can be accessed easily once the wheel is retrieved.

And retrieved it is - Ethius homes in on it with pinpoint precision grabbing it before it can escape into the night to perplex anyone who isn't from Filgaia or Al Bhed.

"Good work, Ethius! Bring it over here and we can get it reattached." Jacqueline calls out. When it is (presumably, assuming Jacqueline doesn't need to use persuasion), the work on the vehicle itself can continue.

Jacqueline doesn't work on fixing the wheel herself - she leaves that to the ones who are better equipped for it. With guidance from Catenna and light provided by Cyre's censer, the wheel can be eased into place.

It's Lydia and Prissa's turn next, applying some percussive maintenance to whack it thoroughly into place.

"A spare wheel...? N-not at the moment..." Jacqueline admits, and chuckles slightly at Lydia's comment. "True...this should be no problem for us."

In the end, it isn't a problem - the wheel is attached without incident, though as Prissa says it may be wise to get some replacement parts once they reach the Travel Agency.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=========================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - That Statue... *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Miraculously enough no disasters befall your journey for a short period of    
 time. There is even a space where the Caravan can be pulled over for a        
 moment, allowing people to resituate, rehydrate, or relieve themselves of     
 various burdens. This little plaza is decorated by a colorful and very        
 realistic statue of -                                                         
                                                                               
 Well, you can recognize Lord Mi'ihen from the various illustrated books and   
 statues back in Luca... but...                                                
                                                                               
 https://i.imgur.com/RNGPYmb.jpg                                               
                                                                               
 What is he standing on? Discuss while you have a brief break.                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius returns with that tire no more than a moment later. The journey back is slightly longer back, for he had to run down a few small drops in order to get that tire. He doesn't hear any movement, nor see anything out of place - and, incidentally, neither does anyone else. The repair will go without further incident, and the following stretch of journey goes by reasonably pleasantly.
     The CaraKin is going to need a bit more electric juice in a short while, but there seems to be an ample place to park over in the shadow of a statue near a plaza. A good place to stop as any, lest they find themselves caught in a bad place for an emergency again. When the CaraKin comes to a stop, Ethius is one of the first who thinks to approach the statue, getting out that eyeglass of his. While it can cast some light once activated with a low-yield electrical spell, it's not that great at being a direct light to make others see in the dark.
     It's just enough to make out the basic shape of it. The basic shape alone is an easy identifier to natives. It says much to the character of the one depicted that even a non-native can recognize a sort of likeness.
     "This statue appears to resemble some of the ones in Luca," Ethius remarks. "...I do not recognize what that is underneath."
     This doesn't seem to be an urgent question that requires an answer, but almost everyone has a moment to stretch and re-prepare themselves to move again once the CaraKin's ready to go.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, That Statue....
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Yeah," Cyre says up at the massive statue. "What was this guy's name again? Lord... Lord Bihon? Lord... Misua?" The shaman's brow furrows, one hand going to scrub at his chin. "...I don't like that he's standin' on some kind of horned lion though." It's probably not Noua Shax, but somehow Cyre is still feeling just a little bit offended.

So instead of dwelling on that, Cyre just asks the gang, "Anyone want a snack? I'm gonna run in quick and dig through the pantry."

It looks like someone's feeling the munchies.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, That Statue....
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Maybe noodles," Cyre murmurs to himself, "Do we still have cup noodles...?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Carocket ship." Lydia tells Jay as if telling her to remember that. "Carocket Kinship. Think about it! Do not steal!"

She sits herself down and says, "I want a snack!"

Schrodinger appears on Lydia's head.

"Schrodinger wants a snack too I--" She pauses, frowning at the statue.

She lifts Schrodinger off her head and looks between the two.

"Maybe some sort of...oversized...cat?" She offers.

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

Catenna takes a moment to grimace and wipe off her hands on a clean cloth. Not that she's a stranger to hard work - but boy oh boy do tires leave grease and dirt on your hands, and Catenna'd rather not have more of that than necessary.

The CaraKin trundles to a halt after a little longer, and Catenna hops down from where she's been riding on the side. She flicks her hair back and looks towards the source of Ethius's light.

"It's quite a lifelike statue, isn't it?" Catenna muses as she moves over to stand beside the Kinship's resident lump. Her gaze travels the statue, from tip to toe to--

Catenna frowns as she tries to decipher the thing the statue is riding.

Then she perks up a little. "Ah! I see. It must be some sort of monster cat. Some of the Dark Summoners back home form bonds with similar creatures."

Saarda-Shanta narrows her eyes a little before letting out a small hoot. <It is not quite the same, of course. Those who dwell here have been here long enough that things have diverged. If indeed they are the same people who came from Filgaia. These Spirans seem not to know the traitor Althena.>

"I wonder how that could be," Catenna murmurs. "Perhaps they have forgotten. Or someone else had the same idea as Althena did."

Cyre calls out; Catenna waves back to him. "There are some mint wafers on the table, darling."

DG: Catenna has used her Tool Saarda-Shanta toward her party's challenge, That Statue....
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 The ice snapped easily away when it's role was over and done with. Arlpeh climbs back into the Caravan, dusting himself off and resume his maintenance of the vehicle while the move.
 
 "It is very lifelike, I'll agree." Arleph peeks out of the caravan to take a small break, adjusting his glasses to look over at the statue, tilting his head. He's recording now, of course, in case this is worth further studies. Not that most people would know that part. "It seems like some sort of ... predator, with horns. Likely something dangerous and fearsome to take down, otherwise I doubt they'd make a statue standing over, say, a rabbit."
 
 He sits down, looking over at the other Caravaneers. "Anything you can tell us on this man, Prissa?"

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Optics toward his party's challenge, That Statue....
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Don't worry, I won't forget it." Jacqueline replies to Lydia with a fond chuckle. Her enthusiasm was refreshing, at least.

The journey continues, until someone points out a place that looks like it'd be a convenient rest stop. Jacqueline pulls over and exits the vehicle...but she doesn't join the others just yet. Instead she situates herself behind the Carakin, where the lightning rod is set up.

It made it a little easier to refuel, so she didn't have to drag their batteries out each and every time she needed to charge it up.

"Alright, stand back...!" She says. With a gesture of her right hand lightning falls - the energy output carefully calculated so as to be exactly what they need, and not to overwhelm it.

That'll keep them going for just a bit longer.

"I could use something. Sorcery always takes it out of you..." Jacqueline comments, returning to the others. Her attention is drawn to the statue that seems to be the current point of discussion. Jacqueline frowns pensively, considering it.

"Some sort of beast native to Spira, I imagine...I wonder if there's anything about in the Codex...?" She considers, drawing the book out and paging through it. It's a little hard to see it perfectly in the dark like this, though.

"That's quite the weapon he's carrying, though. Whoever that man is, he must have been a terrifying combatant..." She murmurs.

<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
"Carrotic?" Prissa says to Lydia. She has learned the word Rocket but it is foreign to her, meaning she is removed from the joyous realm of wordplay. (Oh, she probably knows all kinds of wacky Al Bhed puns, but she's kept them to herself.)

(mostly)
(probably?)

They come to a statue.

"That is Mi'ihen," Prissa says, hitching up her leggings as she does. (Prissa has obtained some colorful tights that match local styles, but her sleeveless vest thing seems to have been kept around. It's breezy!) "He founded the Crusaders. They call this the Highroad because he took 'the high road' when he goes to suck the Yevon maesters' toes to apologize for daring to do a thing."

Her attention goes to the creature.

Prissa scratches her nose with her thumbnail. "I have no idea what that is," she says. "Legendary beast? No, what is the word I hear on Spira. Cult object. Must have been a cult object."

"Yah," she adds, to Catenna. "Hypocrites. Probably they - hm - how to put this. You know how you put the pattern on a tea cup or something? They do that to this entire thing and they cook it in an oven. You could probably crash the wagon into it and it would last."

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, That Statue....
DG: Prissa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, That Statue....
=========================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=========================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - That Statue... *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Miraculously enough no disasters befall your journey for a short period of    
 time. There is even a space where the Caravan can be pulled over for a        
 moment, allowing people to resituate, rehydrate, or relieve themselves of     
 various burdens. This little plaza is decorated by a colorful and very        
 realistic statue of -                                                         
                                                                               
 Well, you can recognize Lord Mi'ihen from the various illustrated books and   
 statues back in Luca... but...                                                
                                                                               
 https://i.imgur.com/RNGPYmb.jpg                                               
                                                                               
 What is he standing on? Discuss while you have a brief break.                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
====================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 3 *>====================================
==============================================< Results - That Statue... >==============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catenna                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Saarda-Shanta                       1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Optics                              2   Wits    Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0               
DG: The party led by Prissa 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.
[OOC] Ethius Hesiod says, "whoops"
[OOC] Ethius Hesiod says, "anyway yays"
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia turns to Prissa and says, "Carrotic? Man...that sounds like... Carrot porn." She shakes her head. "But no, like... 'Caravan Kinship' makes 'Carakin', right? And if we turn the Caravan into a rocket, it becomes a 'Carocket ship."

Or maybe a Kakarot, Lydia isn't sure.
[OOC] Catenna says, "can't be a kakarot, ratatoskr isn't here"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Prissa the tour guide to the rescue!! Names are corrected and referenced again. That is Mi'ihen, of whom this very road (this highroad) is named after. Various theories are bandied about as to the nature of what it is underneath him. Some sort of oversized monster cat? Something that, based on Mi'ihen's portrayal here, might well have been a fearsome beast worthy of boast for slaying? Prissa, the one among them who has the best chance of knowing, seems to ultimately shrug and leave it up to interpretation.
     The ruminations and history lesson help pass the time as Jay gets to work on getting more juice into the horseless metal wagon. Snacks are found and handed out.
     Ethius turns his head as Saarda-Shanta speaks more about the theories of how these people got here, but adds little to the actual discussion as he lowers the Spectral Lens away from his gaze. He sees no incidental dangers. The coast remains clear to continue moving under the cover of night.
     More time in which to sell everyone on the idea of putting a rocket on this when they have the first opportunity to.
[OOC] Catenna says, "lemme hit next"

DG: Catenna has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>======================
====================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 3 *>====================================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Don't Wake Drifters! *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 You are not the only people who are making use of the road at night.          
                                                                               
  A section of the Oldroad has been fortified with what seems to be an         
 honest-to-the-Guardians wooden palisade, improvised from scraps and what      
 must be wildcat lumbering off to the sides of the Highroad. The air has the   
 distinct lingering scent of gunsmoke in it, and several cookfires have        
 hauntingly familiar Filgaian scents.                                          
                                                                               
 However, everyone is asleep and you can see the outlines of sentries with     
 guns. They do not respond to hails. It might be a great idea to... figure     
 out a way to avoid crossing directly in front of these people. Just in case.  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna sets her hands at her hips and takes in the explanation Prissa gives. She lets out a small snort of laughter but quickly swallows it.

Then her eyebrows come up. "Let's try not to crash the wagon into it," she muses with a smile.

Soon enough, the CaraKin is under way again. This time Catenna moves out in front of the group, giving them a bit of lead in the low light. It's not necessarily her doing the scouting; it is, after all, dark.

She has help from someone nocturnal. Saarda-Shanta hops up on Catenna's head, her yellow eyes wide and intent as she peers into the night.

<Stop,> the small bird-totem warns, mindvoice hushed.

With a blink, Catenna brings herself up short. "...What do you see," she asks, before the whiff of something catches her nose. She sniffs twice, peering off into the night - and sure enough, there's the flicker of a flame. A cookfire, perhaps. The halo of it dances - the halos of several, flickering as though behind a shallow wall. A palisade. The shadowy outlines of a single figure can be seen moving in front of the flame through a gap in the palisade, well into the distance.

<They have gunsmoke ARMs. There are sentries,> Saarda-Shanta reports. <Going around them might be a good idea. I'm not sure what their intentions are.>

"I am," Catenna says with a small scowl. "Most people do not build palisades if they are only staying overnight."

She doubles back to the Caravan and leans in to the rest of the group: "There are some Drifters who have fortified a spot near the road. Prissa, is there a way around?"

DG: Catenna has used her Tool Saarda-Shanta toward her party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Mi'ihen." Jacqueline considers, looking up at the statue. The name seems important, she stows it away for later reference. There may be a time when knowing this trivia will come in handy.

Re-energized and with her short rest completed, Jacqueline returns to the driver's seat. Once everyone is back into place Jacqueline urges it forward, carefully and quietly once more.

It's running fairly smoothly. The wheel seems to be holding up, and Arleph's mid-action maintenance seems to be helping.

...But soon enough, Saarda-Shanta speaks, offering a word of warning. Jacqueline brings the Carakin to a stop and peers out the window, toward Catenna. And then she turns her eyes to the palisade and frowns, just slightly.

Fortunately, the Carakin's lights were already off. They don't seem to have been spotted yet.

"We might be able to persuade them to let us pass through peacefully...but that's not a chance I'd like to take unless we have no other choice." Jacqueline considers. She looks toward Prissa, then. As Catenna indicates, she's the one most likely to know where to go.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre soon emerges from the Carakin with a bevy of tasty treats for the entire party! Fish sausage for Schrodinger, and some kind of super unhealthy deep-fried potato straw thing for Lydia, and a bunch of mint crackers and-- cup noodles! Cyre is slurping on cup noodles. They are very warm and tasty, the perfect snack for a long night on the Mi'ihen Highroad.

Snacks distributed, Cyre retires back to the top of the Carakin to continue his nightly stargazing when SUDDENLY--

Suddenly Catenna returns and informs them that there are apparently some kind of Spiran hillbillies set up in the middle of the road. Or like, maybe just bandits? Cyre rubs his chin, "We can't just... Use some kind of magic to keep them asleep, or something, as we drive through?"

Or maybe... Maybe they can find a way round?

"I'll take a look from above. Might be able to get a better vantage in case they've got patrols out in the dark." And if there are, they're probably not going to be looking to the sky for someone with actual nightvision.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
Prissa seems to be doing sentence diagrams in her head as Lydia explains this. She mouths words to herself, or letters. She then starts moving ahead.

The Blue Star has moved a little, overhead.

The report comes - a camp ahead. "Hanh?" Prissa says. "Are you sure? ... What, they have built a fort? That's screwed up. When the Crusaders regroup they're all going to die. Probably."

Prissa thinks for a few moment, pursing her lips, and then reports, "You can move to the left. Around here we should be able to duck onto the old road and then back ahead. It is here like the little roads near train tracks, you know?"

"I wonder if Rin knows," Prissa muses, even as she moves ahead, also bearing - like Birdie Sanders, the commander of the chocobo migration - towards the left. She raises her little glow-globe to waggle, in case sight is lost of her.

DG: Prissa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    'They have gunsmoke ARMs.'
     There isn't a sound of Ethius dismounting from the CaraKin from any number of ridiculous self-defined escape routes involving a window. One might catch from the corner of their eyes where he is now lying low in the brush, the faintest glow of cyan color from the Spectral Lens as if to check and make sure the palisade isn't holding mechanisms connected to other mechanisms - in other words, any signs there might be more advanced constructs hiding behind the makeshift barricades.
     One can hear the ellipses in the air.
     "..."
     Well, maybe not.
     Stealthily, Ethius goes the long way around back towards the window he escaped from (Jay is in no danger of accidentally running over him if she suddenly decides they need to FREAKING MOVE). He comes back in the exact way he left, but there's a muted 'scuff' as the cloth of his robe brushes against the side of the vehicle.
     "That is me." Ethius remarks as he slips back inside.
     "I am to understand one spoke of gunsmoke ARMs," Ethius remarks in a quieter tone of voice, as though this subject were worthy of him restraining his muted tone of voice even further, "I have an important query that I cannot determine the answer to. It is of utmost importance this be resolved."
     Ethius puts a hand to his forehead, as though it were of habit.
     "Are any of you able to determine what it is they're cooking?" ...Why does he ask? Will he ever explai--
     "If it is not of Filgaian origin..."

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
You paged Prissa with 'god damn it i cracked the fuck up at Birdie Sanders'
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

"Hm. So he IS an important figure, then."
 Arleph takes some snacks! Snacks are the best, especially when you've been exerting yourself doing some magic for a little. He thanks Cyre, munching on his treats, looking on ahead at the pallisade.
 
 "I can't... really hear from here." Arleph says, tapping the side of his glasses, symbology spreading through the lenses to make them glow faintly, peering into the darkness. "It's more impressive that they did build something like this on a temporary basis... or that it already existed for other travellers."
 
 He shakes his head, pointing and keeping his voice low. "We can move over that way, maybe we can keep ourselve pretty quiet with this softer earth there."

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Optics toward his party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
======================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>======================
====================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 3 *>====================================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Don't Wake Drifters! *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 You are not the only people who are making use of the road at night.          
                                                                               
  A section of the Oldroad has been fortified with what seems to be an         
 honest-to-the-Guardians wooden palisade, improvised from scraps and what      
 must be wildcat lumbering off to the sides of the Highroad. The air has the   
 distinct lingering scent of gunsmoke in it, and several cookfires have        
 hauntingly familiar Filgaian scents.                                          
                                                                               
 However, everyone is asleep and you can see the outlines of sentries with     
 guns. They do not respond to hails. It might be a great idea to... figure     
 out a way to avoid crossing directly in front of these people. Just in case.  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
------------------------------------< TOOLS >-------------------------------------
|Player              |Tool                |Lvl|Ability|Effects               | 
|Prissa              |Investigate         |0  |Wits   |                      | 
|Catenna             |Saarda-Shanta       |1  |Wits   |Cleanse               | 
|Cyre H. Lorentz     |Investigate         |0  |Wits   |                      | 
|Ethius Hesiod       |Spectral Lens       |2  |Wits   |Enlighten             | 
|Lydia Seren         |                    |   |       |                      | 
|Arleph Ardan        |Optics              |2  |Wits   |Resilient             | 
|Jacqueline Barber   |Investigate         |0  |Wits   |                      | 
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Well they're probably from Filgaia, Lydia reflects, when she smells the gunsmoke, and the cookfires. Of course they'll have gunsmoker arms. A lot of her friends probably brought gunsmoke arms here too. And they probably like eating just as well. That's probably okay. "Well hold on--" Lydia says. "They're drifters, right? We can try hailing them first. I mean. Better than risk getting shot on a hunch."

She calls out to the group, "Howdy there!"

There is a long pause.

"Oh Guardian, they're gonna kill us." Lydia whispers.

But it is a good thought, isn't it, she thinks? There are all manner of Drifters stuck on Spira right now. Not all of them are going to have a team to help steady them. And it's best to strike now while the iron is hot. The pirate crew isn't her pirate crew, but it is, in a way, her pirate crew.

Gella signs (she doesn't know it's Gil yet) appear in her eyes as she gets another terrible idea for later that will probably give SOMEONE grief.

Hopefully money in her eyes won't keep her from wandering out of trouble, but Schrodinger--now well fed thanks to Cyre--is able to lead the way for Lydia, leaving her full of grins and joy.

It's uh. also possible that maybe they'll shoot at the cat instead but that makes them monsters. MAybe they'll just mistake Schrodinger for them if they can't even hear a hail calling out to them.

"Well it seems like someone's gonna have to show them the way to be proper drifters." Lydia asides to Prissa. "In this dark future that we live in where a giant whale can eat us at any moment. Yep, yep... I see it now..."

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Don't Wake Drifters!.
======================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>======================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Don't Wake Drifters! *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 You are not the only people who are making use of the road at night.          
                                                                               
  A section of the Oldroad has been fortified with what seems to be an         
 honest-to-the-Guardians wooden palisade, improvised from scraps and what      
 must be wildcat lumbering off to the sides of the Highroad. The air has the   
 distinct lingering scent of gunsmoke in it, and several cookfires have        
 hauntingly familiar Filgaian scents.                                          
                                                                               
 However, everyone is asleep and you can see the outlines of sentries with     
 guns. They do not respond to hails. It might be a great idea to... figure     
 out a way to avoid crossing directly in front of these people. Just in case.  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
=================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 4 *>=================
========================< Results - Don't Wake Drifters! >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catenna                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Saarda-Shanta                       1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Optics                              2   Wits    Effects: Resilient            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Prissa                      60 --(20)--> 80                Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Enlighten(1)|Resilient(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Prissa 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> Catenna has posed.

"That seems wise," Catenna concedes with a nod for Jay. You can never tell with Drifters.

Prissa provides some guidance - and an omen. Catenna blinks as she folds her arms across her midsection. "Well. Hopefully they are wise enough to run. But for now we can go around them. To the left."

Then Ethius climbs back in. Catenna jumps a few inches. "At least knock before you do that," she mutters, folding her arms tartly. "And if you must know... it smells like cucco."

Arleph can, in fact, see that there is a wooden palisade there! He can also see that the sentry is just one guy. There are a couple more Drifters poking at a large pot hanging over one of the cook fires. There is, indeed, cucco stew in it.

CaraKin swings to the left.

And then Lydia calls out.

"Lydia, oh my Guardian," Catenna groans as she buries her face in her hands.

Cyre, fwooshing above the Drifters, gets to see what happens first: The sentry looks up. Then the two guys by the fire begin to look up. Then someone stirs from within one of the tents.

    ----

    IN THE CAMP....

"You hear somethin'?" asks one of the Drifters.

"Someone was callin' at us," another says as he reaches for a gunsmoke ARM. "A really dumb someone."

"Hey, what's that there?!" someone else exclaims. Several pairs of eyes turn towards a gap in the palisade.

Towards Schrodinger the Cat.

    ----

    SIXTY SECONDS LATER....

"Awww, lookit how cute he is!" coo the Drifters in various permutations as they take turns scritching and fawning over a Schrodinger.

DG: Prissa has drawn a new Challenge.
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the Infinite *>=========
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 You can see the Travel Agency - the Spiran equivalent to a roadhouse or a     
 travellers' inn - before you get close enough to hear the noise or to smell   
 the chocobos. The building stands out in an open plain, and several lights    
 are set out, no doubt to guide in wayward travellers looking for shelter and  
 safe harbor.                                                                  
                                                                               
  The occupants must see you too. As the Caravan approaches the range of the   
 lights, a tall tan man with the eyes of the Al Bhed and a rugged build steps  
 out. https://i.imgur.com/d2SsuLa.gif                                          
                                                                               
 He squints into the darkness. Then he calls out, "Hoi!" One hand waves you    
 in. Safety. Shelter. Home.                                                    
                                                                               
  "Good evening!" Rin says. "I am Rin, the owner of this establishment. Hela   
 du saad oui." He seems to be about to say more when he sees something.        
                                                                               
  He raises one hand and points directly at Prissa. "You," he says, "are two   
 years late. We had an arrangement, Prissa! You were to forge arms for the     
 Crusaders and the guardians, each and all of them a beautiful work that       
 would bring renown to my Agency. Advertisement and defense all in one, and    
 then you disappear. Now I find you coming up the Highroad. You are in breach  
 and have cost me immeasurable sums." After a moment, Rin folds his arms.      
                                                                               
  "Actually, they are quite measurable. You have cost me..."                   
                                                                               
                                6 0 0 0 0 0 GIL                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
 "Perhaps your... vneahtc; that is to say, your friends... have such a sum,    
 to hand?"                                                                     
                                                                               
  NEGOTIATION START!                                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Reckless=======================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
"This was not here before," Prissa says.

To Lydia, she says, "I feel you are joking, but..."

In the end, the ultimate stealth operative of a cute kitty cat charms the entrenched Drifters. No gunshots are fired at the Caravan as it moves past. Schrodinger, of course, does not seem to remain with them, but even these figures - who you will be seeing more of, in the future, one way or another - are not immune to the charm of a cute widdle kittums.

(Good thing Cyre didn't go say hi. Though he does see a good half-dozen separate fires... this is a pretty large group.)

But after that detour, and the return, the lights gleam in the distance. The Travel Agency is sitting in an open area, with few trees or other obstacles to interfere -- so its lights stand out, all the more so for being the only lights, other than those cook fires and what the group has brought with them, on the Highroad. What must it be like when the Blue Star is not partially 'full' as if it were a moon? A gloomy thought.

The Caravan approaches gradually. Several more lights come on within the Agency. A person emerges, moving to another building, but does not seem armed. A final central light, this one discernibly and undeniably artificial, comes on, illuminating part of the open field and the Carakin itself - it may be slightly blinding to people.

"Good evening!" calls a man with a notable *and familiar* accent.

He raises a hand. "I am Rin," he introduces himself. "Rarely do we see travellers at night. I hope your journey was safe. Hela du saad o-"

Rin stops dead.

He stabs a finger in the air. "YOU," he says, pointing directly at Prissa. (Prissa attempts to sidle behind Lydia, which does not work.)

"Are two years late! We had an arrangement, Prissa! You were to forge arms for the Crusaders and the guardians, each and all of them a beautiful work that would bring renown to my Agency. Advertisement and defense all in one, and then you disappear. Now I find you coming up the Highroad. You are in breach and have cost me immeasurable sums."

Prissa's lips thin and she looks at others around the Caravan, sort of half-assedly shrugging as if to say, what can you do. Rin folds his arms.

"Actually, they are quite measurable," Rin says. "You have cost me..."

                              6 0 0 0 0 0 GIL.

The numbers seem to float in shining gold in the air. Letters, in one case. Rin folds his arms.

"Perhaps your... vneahtc; that is to say, your... friends... could advance you such a sum, or otherwise, have it to hand...?"

Rin meets the eyes of Jay for a moment. His eyebrows raise slightly.

NEGOTIATIONS START! - BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jRocRXIsVw

DG: Prissa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the
Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Nothing is more stealthy than a cute widdle kitty.

Catenna stares back out the window in complete disbelief.

Then she straightens. They've got a destination to get to.

When the CaraKin pulls in and the lights come up, Catenna winces as the big final light comes on. She blinks a few times to try and get her eyes used to it, but she hops down next to Prissa nevertheless, moving up beside her. "Hello, Rin," she begins. "Thank you f-"

'YOU.' You being Prissa.

Catenna's eyebrows go up. Then they go back down as she squints at the literal number floating in the air. They're even gold. How he's doing that, she can't even guess.

"Cyre, do we have 6 0 0 0 0 0 GIL," asks the Moon Shaman, who is a fake merchant and does not really care about money.

<We probably don't,> Saarda-Shanta points out. <We probably don't even have 600,000 Gella.>

"This would be so much easier in a post-currency luxury utopia," Catenna mutters as she folds her arms. She clears her throat and swivels back to the discussion, giving Rin a quick once-over.

"Well! As Prissa's vneaht," Catenna begins, lowering her hands to her hips, "if it is advertising you are concerned about, I would imagine you could make that up through word of mouth by going in on a sponsorship with the Caravan Kinship. As the preeminent traveling merchant caravan in this world and the next, our capacity to give your brand high levels of exposure is unparalleled. Of course we would consider the extenuating circumstances in this case and discuss waiving the usual advertising fees and gratuities associated with becoming a branded sponsor of the Caravan Kinship at the visible brand logo tier--"

DG: Catenna has used her Tool Saarda-Shanta toward her party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    The information that Ethius gets as to what's being cooked seems to stay his hand, or at least, he hasn't gone and done anything too sketch/dangerous in that moment of vulnerability afforded by CUTE KITTY. The rest of the encounter and resulting ride goes uneventfully in so far as he's concerned.
     At the Agency, Ethius' gaze looks to the lights that come on, mentally cataloguing the style of illumination and taking in whatever its make means to him. He only thinks half a second later not to look directly into it, yes, he can confirm it is bright but also an artificial light. He is satisfied (but his eyes need a moment).
     'YOU,' Ethius hears, and he follows the accusatory finger over to Lydia...? Oh.
     ...
     "Two years?" Ethius asks the question aloud, as a point of curiosity. He was not fully aware of the timeframe in which Prissa might have been displaced from here.
     Instinctively, he gets out that little eyeglass of his again - it is already starting to fog over from heavy use - but it's got one more scanning session in it before he has to let it cool down, as he casts the low-yield electrical spell to give it light and have a look at the Agency ahead.
     He ambles off in some direction. The momentary distraction it might give the aggrieved contractor in the event his wandering off catches his ire gives anyone else an added second or two in which to employ trickery with their pitches.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the
Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

...

Truly, even the hardest of hearts melts when faced with a ~cute widdle kittum.~

Somehow, Cyre is pretty sure that he probably wouldn't be nearly as welcome. Sure, he's adorable to a very specific subset of the population (and knows how to work that adorability to his advantage, like the manipulative superpredator that he is), but uh... He'd probably get shot, let's be honest here.

The shaman soon descends to rejoin the rest of the party, having thoroughly enjoyed watching a bunch of grown men and women abandon their sworn guard duty to play with a Schrodinger. "There's a lot of them back there," he reports, folding his parachute back into its pack, "It looks almost like they're gearing up for war. They're not here to invade Luca, are they?"

But then! Lights come on! Cyre gives a great big 'waugh!' as his eyes are suddenly forced to adjust to the cruel blue-white glare of distinctly artificial illumination. That voice that calls at them is-- it must be-- Al-Bhed...!

'YOU'

"Oh shit I didn't think we had time to piss anyone off yet--" Oh wait no that guy is talking to Prissa. Uh. 600,000 GIL? Cyre exchanges a look with Catenna and just sort of super frowns. "N-no, I'm pretty sure we don't have those kinds of assets just sort of... sitting around."

"That's kind of crazy though, like-- 600,000 Gil from a single missed order? That's like... Chargin' someone for not only their bad, but also every single missed business opportunity that came from that bad, nevermind it smellin' distinctly arbitrary. I don't think that's exactly fair, is it? Was the order actually worth 600,000 G's? Is there like... paperwork around to that effect?"

Oh no, the Shaman is going full Lawyer.

"Well, anyway. I don't know iff'n yer aware of this, but Prissa's had a pretty serious set of trips under her belts in the past couple years. Nevermind the 600,000 G loss of yesterday, what if we told you we might be able to provide some intelligence about a whole bunch of potential new customers, eh?"

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond
the Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Hm? Well not these guys obviously." Lydia tells Prissa. "You gotta make sure you've got the best guys on your side if you want to make some cash. Even if most of the cash I had made is in the Alliance's coffers right now." She exhales out a sigh. "Well...it's not like it'd be much use here..."

She shakes her head slowly. "One day I'll make a lot of money, and then--actually--get to---use it."

She comes to a stop. Instinctively she shifts a bit to help provide Prissa some cover. She is a tall lady who can probably do this if it weren't for the fact that Prissa wasn't hiding too well to begin with. And he already saw her.

"Now...hold on here a second." Lydia stammers. "This isn't right...!"

Wait, LYDIA of all people is saying it's not right to press someone for money. "Even if she was gone for that long, it wasn't by choice...!"

She points a finger forwar towards Rin. "She was kidnapped!"

Pause.

"By.... Sin."

Another pause.

"Er, I guess it was more like...a wreck? Anyway, she managed to survive and make it back here...!" She stomps one foot. "And you can't possibly charge her that much simply because the giant death whale had a grudge against her that day...! That's clearly just the cost of doing business here, and an expense you can't hoist up on her!"

She takes in a deep breath. "But... We shouldn't just leave you with nothing either. That's also not fair. And I'm a fair lady...! So how about... we let you use our boat."

Didn't Jay say it was 'their' boat on not, uh, Lydia's? Well Lydia is claiming it. If Jay doesn't want it, Lydia totally does.

"Surely you could make use of a boat from time to time since it's a...Travel Agency, right? You could give tours around the isle! And engage in piracy! ... As in, uh, charging so high for your services it's basically piracy. Not actual piracy."

She frowns for a moment. "...Maybe."

Then louder, "And...! I'll let..."

The Schrodinger over with the Drifters remain, but another appears in Lydia's hand.

"...you hold this cutey hostage... until you are properly repaid!"

This is like the worst hostage ever. MAYBE THAT IS THE PLAN.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the
Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 The Travel Agency is something interesting to witness and behold. It seems to be pretty well maintained, with all the lights there and about. The Artificial light is not missed to him. In fact, their power to make artificial things is more than an active desire to investigate further on the matter. He'll have to look deeper into the Al-Bhed. This might be a very good opportunity to do so, if they... manage to stay here.
 
 Arleph sits back, watching things coming. He's just glad that they managed to get past the pallisade. He's certainly not really in the mood to be fighting other drifters to begin with. As they enter--
 
 'YOU'.
 
 "Oh for the love of," Arleph lets out, pushing himsel foff to his feet. "TWO years worth of interest on that front? Now, that's pretty crazy talk, sir. This seems to me that there is inflated interest more than it is fair, 6 0 0 0 0 0 gil is quite a preposterous amount."
 
 He taps the sides of his glasses, adjusting them as he thinks this over. "Tell me, were the materials delivered for the construction of said commands? I'm certain that we can come to a mutually benefitical solution for us to engage in -- but there was quite... extraneous circumstances, I am certain."

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Optics toward his party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the Infinite.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Fortunately, they manage to avoid an incident with the other Drifters! They might be fine...but while they're still trying to adapt, it'd probably be better to avoid any undue risk.

They continue forward, and soon enough their destination starts to come into view - Rin's Travel Agency. It's lit up brightly, standing out in the open plain. It's easy to see, and so are they, as it happens - someone, a man, emerges to greet them.

Jacqueline steps out of the vehicle, moving forward to greet him.

"Ah, hello!" Jacqueline greets. "I'm Jacqueline Barber, and-"

She pauses as the man points at Prissa and speaks...and the atmosphere shifts. This man...he has a potent Merchant Aura, indeed. Jacqueline can sense it - he is a formidable foe.

Their eyes meet. Jacqueline puts on her brightest saleswoman smile.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Rin. And yes, Prissa is a friend of mine." Jacqueline says. "I understand you must be concerned about the lost profits from Prissa's...disappearance, but I assure you, she had no intention of reneging on your deal - in fact, she has continued honing her skills. 600,000 gil is a paltry sum compared to what she's capable of now."

Jacqueline claps her hands together.

"So! Here's where we stand now. We don't have 600,000 gil on us, but we can certainly acquire it. So, we could arrange payment in the sum of 600,000 gil - that'll be that, we both move on with our lives. OR," Jacqueline stops. She eyes Rin carefully, taking a moment to give him time to take in everything she and the others say. "...We could work together. As my friends here say, we are no smalltime merchants - our reputation is not inconsiderable, and a partnership with us would no doubt be more beneficial going forward. You seem like a reasonable man, Rin - your reputation alone assures me of that. I am certain I can trust you to make the right choice here, hm?"

Jacqueline clasps her hands in front of her with a warm smile on her face.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond
the Infinite.
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the Infinite *>=========
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 You can see the Travel Agency - the Spiran equivalent to a roadhouse or a     
 travellers' inn - before you get close enough to hear the noise or to smell   
 the chocobos. The building stands out in an open plain, and several lights    
 are set out, no doubt to guide in wayward travellers looking for shelter and  
 safe harbor.                                                                  
                                                                               
  The occupants must see you too. As the Caravan approaches the range of the   
 lights, a tall tan man with the eyes of the Al Bhed and a rugged build steps  
 out. https://i.imgur.com/d2SsuLa.gif                                          
                                                                               
 He squints into the darkness. Then he calls out, "Hoi!" One hand waves you    
 in. Safety. Shelter. Home.                                                    
                                                                               
  "Good evening!" Rin says. "I am Rin, the owner of this establishment. Hela   
 du saad oui." He seems to be about to say more when he sees something.        
                                                                               
  He raises one hand and points directly at Prissa. "You," he says, "are two   
 years late. We had an arrangement, Prissa! You were to forge arms for the     
 Crusaders and the guardians, each and all of them a beautiful work that       
 would bring renown to my Agency. Advertisement and defense all in one, and    
 then you disappear. Now I find you coming up the Highroad. You are in breach  
 and have cost me immeasurable sums." After a moment, Rin folds his arms.      
                                                                               
  "Actually, they are quite measurable. You have cost me..."                   
                                                                               
                                6 0 0 0 0 0 GIL                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
 "Perhaps your... vneahtc; that is to say, your friends... have such a sum,    
 to hand?"                                                                     
                                                                               
  NEGOTIATION START!                                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Reckless=======================================
================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission - Round 5 *>================
===========< Results - Rin's Travel Agency, and Beyond the Infinite >===========
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catenna                             0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Saarda-Shanta                       1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Optics                              2   Wits    Effects: Resilient            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Prissa                      80 --(35)--> 115               Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Hesitate(1)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Enlighten(1)|Resilient(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Prissa has successfully explored Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission!
=====================<* Mi'ihen Highroad - Night Mission *>=====================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Haf Vneahtc *>==========================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The negotiations go well... Rin, though stern and a savvy businessman, seems  
 to be moved by the spirit of Kinship. Or perhaps by the prospect of           
 extending a business network. Perhaps even to another planet. It is hard to   
 say exactly, because he has the same kind of accent as Prissa, and is much    
 older.                                                                        
                                                                               
 In the end, however, and before the sun rises, agreement is made. The         
 Caravan may rest here, cunningly disguised as a chocobo hatching shack, and   
 be repaired or refurbished to your collective hearts' content.                
                                                                               
 And as the deal is struck...                                                  
                                                                               
  "Prissa. You could not control the actions of Sin, frustrating though it     
 may be for me. I am glad, ultimately, that you survived this ordeal, and you  
 have made your friends into my friends, too! I forgive you of this sum that   
 I quoted."                                                                    
                                                                               
 He then lowers his voice. "E ys kmyt uv ouin raymdr, yht dryd oui ryja        
 byndhanc vnus yhudran cdyn. Pid E lyhhud nih so picehacc uh ouin Blade        
 Dreams. E sicd ehcecd uh lusbahcydeuh, druikr E femm knyhd oui ayco dansc,    
 yc y fusyh uv ruhun. Ar?"                                                     
                                                                               
 PRISSA'S DEBT TO RIN - 300,000 GIL                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point, Treasure=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

 
NEGOTIATIONS.

Rin looks to Catenna. "The pre-eminent travelling merchant caravan in this AND THE NEXT world? Do you speak of the Farplane, my lady? ... Hah; I imagine you speak of the realm of smelly machina and leather boots. Is this not so? Well, well. To think you arrived in such order... But, hm, a logo..."

Rin looks to Ethius. "Yes," Rin says. ("So what," Prissa says to him, defensively, but Prissa seems kind of subdued here. Probably Rin has her dead ass to rights, to the point where she is visibly regretting this plan.)

To Cyre, Rin explains: "I intended to build a business. Prissa is an excellent artisan and works in custom equipment. I must ask your forgiveness that I do not explain my picehacc sutam with you, but if you speak of expansion possibilities..."

Rin raises a hand to Arleph. "Understand me," he tells the man. "I cannot be merciful here. We must be fair with each and another, so that there is space for mercy when it is needed."

"He is right," Prissa says, if unenthusiastically.

The details are not explained.

To Jay, he speaks. "It is a considerable sum, I know," he says.

Then he rubs his chin with one hand. "But... you have arrived in Spira. Few arrive in Spira... and to my knowledge, none leave, save to the Farplane."

And then Lydia speaks.

Rin gazes on her. He makes an assumption. And that assumption determines his plan, for he is right in the idea if wrong on the details. "A boat? A boat that came from the western lands?"

SOON

As the sun comes up, Rin pets Rucdyka, his new cat. Schrodinger - or a shard of Schrodinger - is slowly becoming calico-colored as Rin pets him. Rin seems to accept this.

"Prissa. You could not control the actions of Sin, frustrating though it may be for me. I am glad, ultimately, that you survived this ordeal, and you have made your friends into my friends, too! I forgive you of this sum that I quoted."

"Now, as a sign of my joy to meet you all - why do we not retire within? The breakfast service will begin soon, and it is my pleasure to host you all for the morning."

Prissa moves forwards. "Wait a moment," Rin tells her.

Rin pets Rucdyka as he speaks with Prissa. Prissa nods along and seems, from her demeanor, generally pleased - upbeat - normal, at worst - before abruptly falling to her hands and knees as somewhere a distant kettle drum sounds a single massive note.

From the perspective of the group it looks like "LIG 000,003" - probably nothing to worry about, in that case.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TByMBLNGDs