2019-06-07: What If That Star Is Not to Come

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============================<* Great Spiran Sea *>============================

The Spiran archipelago is, unsurprisingly, composed of a series of islands. One is large, some are fairly big, the rest are quite small. Travel between the islands is accomplished by a series of small, local ferry runs between Spira's major seaports. Each of these ferries is pretty much like the rest - a large two-masted brig equipped with a pair of paddle wheels that allow the vessel to run on chocobo power whenever the wind is low.

Because all of the ferries are basically the same, this is the one you're on. Whatever one that is. Wherever it's going. You're on it.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoSAJeVwg8
DG: A party led by Talise Gianfair is now entering Wreck of the Lunabelle.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
==========<* CHALLENGE - Open the Door to the Legend of Our Memories *>===========
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The hulk of the Lunabelle has run aground on a spur of wet rocks arcing out   
 from the beach here. The ship's shockingly intact - her sails are tattered    
 in places but still mostly together, and her hull shows no signs of breaches  
 or buckling, though barnacles have collected here and there - but she's not   
 going anywhere. She's firmly lodged against some of the larger stones, her    
 bottom caught on the rocks and unable to go anywhere. Conveniently, the       
 rocks form a natural walkway leading to the ship.                             
                                                                               
 Less convenient is that the rocks are slick with seawater and uneven to step  
 on, and a few of them are encrusted with sharp barnacles that threaten to     
 slice anyone who slips and falls the wrong way. Even if one misses them,      
 there's the danger of falling into the water. The trip over the rocks will    
 require caution.                                                              
                                                                               
 And fortitude. The closer you get, the more a thin mist appears to cling to   
 the ship - and you can hear something whispering, unseen, undirected, but     
 there. As if right behind you and far away all at once.                       
                                                                               
 ...can't stop...                                                              
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

The Runner had come to shore, and when Benedict Greygust had brought word to the Fox Company, it had nearly brought Talise to her knees. The mysterious ghost ship was one she was all too familiar with.

The Lunabelle - the ship she was born and raised aboard.

        ---

Driven up onto the rocks near the shore, the good ship Lunabelle has somehow remained intact - albeit worse for the wear. Her sails are tattered and ragged, her hull caked with seaweed, moss, barnacles and crystallized salt, her rigging draped with ropes that don't seem to connect to anything having come loose from the sails.

The path there is perilous. Moving across the spar of rocks leading out to where the ship has grounded, Talise leads the way, her eyes a little wide and her face pale as she gazes up at the ship.

"They never told me what it was they left me behind for," she says, her voice a little haunted. "Only that they were going somewhere far away to try and find an incredible treasure, and that it would be too dangerous for the kids and old people. Me and Uncle Piet...." She trails off as she draws closer.

                        ...can't stop...

The whisper is faintly heard, and Talise blinks as she looks up, perched atop a slick rock. "What was that," she says.

The closer she draws, the more it's clear that something is amiss. A mist begins to slowly come into evidence, as if the Lunabelle's hulk is surrounded by a persistent fog that only becomes apparent the nearer the group becomes. Talise pauses for a moment, her lips coming together in a tight line.

"I don't like this." Talise swallows the lump in her throat and tries to find a safe place to step on the next rock.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Seraph Lanval isn't far from Talise when word comes in that the ghost ship has come ashore. The complex emotions she feels when the name is stated...
        He doesn't leave her side. (After an encounter that came just shy of becoming explosive between himself and another Seraph, he's gone on ahead and decided he'd rather be in Talise's company for a while anyway.)
        (And a lot of booze.)
        He lets Talise take point as she speaks of what this all means to her. Its history, its disappearance from her life...
        He is mercifully quiet, by Lanval standards. The ambient giggling is muted. Almost a non-presence, as the group starts across the seawater-slick rocks, towards an air that grows heavier and heavier in mist.
        A whisper is heard. Lanval doesn't comment... wait. Where even is he?
        Quietly, he's already in the water below the rocks, drifting along on his back. Sure, it'll take him some effort - a lot of it - to get back up out of it and join them when they're across, but his being there is meant to be a quiet reassurance that he'll catch them if they fall.
        For all the things uncertain all of this, this point is not one of them.

DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of
Our Memories.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Hearing about the Lunabelle was bad enough, but seeing it with her own eyes was something else entirely. At the sight of the ship Layna takes a sharp breath in and exhales before looking toward Talise.

She doesn't blame her for that look in her eyes, or that haunted tone in her voice. She was witnessing a ghost from her past, made all too real.

But then another voice comes, and it's not one of theirs. Layna frowns, looking about.

"...I dunno. But be on your guard." She replies, continuing forward. The path forward isn't easy, with the slippery rocks and the sharp barnacles. As she moves Layna draws out a flask of something and takes a swig before passing it along to someone else.

And then, her eyes fall on Talise.

For a moment, Layna considers asking her whether she wants to turn back. But...she's sure that this is something she has to see through. So, instead...

"Just remember. We're with you, aye?" She says.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Quartermaster's Stash toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of
Our Memories.
DG: Talise Gianfair has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of
Our Memories.
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Getting Tethelle to come, once she heard the news, was not the challenge.

Honestly, *not* getting Tethelle to come would have been the challenge. Fortunately, it is not one that the party has chosen to attempt.

Tethelle is not leaving her sword on her back when it comes to this. She doesn't actually need to climb, so it's already in her hand, though she's careful with the bare blade. It's clear that Tethelle values the tiny advantage already being armed instead of being prepared to draw gives her in this situation. "I don't either," she says to Talise, resting one hand on the taller woman's shoulder for a moment. "But you are not alone."

Tethelle strides forward, immediately glad she wore boots. More importantly, she has her feathery skirt and its minor enchantment; as she hops from rock to rock, a helpful breeze guides people after her and keeps her in the air just a little longer than might be quite natural.

It does not stir the fog very much.

DG: Tethelle Cirdian has used her Tool Zephyr Cape toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of Our
Memories.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Ida stands just behind Talise, staring out at the hulk of the Lunabelle with her lower lip held between her teeth. In her right hand, she holds the reins of her rented mount, a chocobo with mottled earthtone plumage. In her left hand, she holds a walking stick. The young woman is dressed a bit more conservatively than what's become the norm for her in Spira--she's wearing a blouse with loose, flowing sleeves, matching slacks, and her usual travel gear. Both of her hands are covered with leather gloves, and a scarf is wrapped around her neck. It's not the most practical wear in Spira's tropical climate, but she's trying to hide as much skin as possible for some reason.

        There's been a rumor going around, too--Ida collapsed during a Dig from some unspecified illness. She looks a little unsteady, even now.

        "Stay here, boy," Ida says, to her mount. She lets out a breath, and lets go of the reins. A gentle wind rises up beneath her as she starts to follow the others, buoying her up and steadying her. She favors her right arm, and her left leg.

DG: Ida Everstead-Rey has used her Tool Zephyr Boots toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of Our
Memories.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline has a complex relationship with ghosts in general. It is, however, a well-documented fact that she she can't stand ghost ships and their crews.

This particular one, however, is particularly personal to one of her friends, and so gives her pause. Rosaline has been a little quiet with Drifter activities lately, but Talise requested help, and so here she is.

"Talise..." Rosaline says in a quiet voice, her ears drooping as she stares down the eerie ship. "I hope what you find here can give you peace." She truly, dearly hopes so, but she knows all too well how closure isn't always synonymous with the end of one's sorrows. "And I'll help you find it."

She is sure-footed on treacherous ground as usual, but the sea water beneath and the general chilling atmosphere make her more tense than usual. A near-miss slip causes some quiet hissing on her part, but this is before the voices manifest themselves.

"--What was that?" she echoes Talise, her voice trembling.

DG: Rosaline Calice has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend of
Our Memories.
<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia's been a little subdued lately, but when the news came in about the ship, she was immediately prepared to help as much as she can.

She's quiet now, and trembling slightly, but her expression is determined and her resolve unshaken.

Chauncey, as ever, is stoic.

Slightly unusually, she doesn't complain or grumble at all about the uncertain footing. She just follows her friends.

DG: Sephilia Lampbright has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Open the Door to the Legend
of Our Memories.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
==========<* CHALLENGE - Open the Door to the Legend of Our Memories *>===========
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The hulk of the Lunabelle has run aground on a spur of wet rocks arcing out   
 from the beach here. The ship's shockingly intact - her sails are tattered    
 in places but still mostly together, and her hull shows no signs of breaches  
 or buckling, though barnacles have collected here and there - but she's not   
 going anywhere. She's firmly lodged against some of the larger stones, her    
 bottom caught on the rocks and unable to go anywhere. Conveniently, the       
 rocks form a natural walkway leading to the ship.                             
                                                                               
 Less convenient is that the rocks are slick with seawater and uneven to step  
 on, and a few of them are encrusted with sharp barnacles that threaten to     
 slice anyone who slips and falls the wrong way. Even if one misses them,      
 there's the danger of falling into the water. The trip over the rocks will    
 require caution.                                                              
                                                                               
 And fortitude. The closer you get, the more a thin mist appears to cling to   
 the ship - and you can hear something whispering, unseen, undirected, but     
 there. As if right behind you and far away all at once.                       
                                                                               
 ...can't stop...                                                              
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
======================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle - Round 1 *>======================
============< Results - Open the Door to the Legend of Our Memories >=============
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talise Gianfair                     0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ida Everstead-Rey                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Zephyr Boots                        2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rosaline Calice                     0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Quartermaster's Stash               2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tethelle Cirdian                    0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Zephyr Cape                         2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sephilia Lampbright                 0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Talise Gianfair             0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Talise Gianfair 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: Talise Gianfair has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - No Further To Us At Last *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...the most precious treasure...                                              
                                                                               
 The whispers eddy around you, very faint, carried on the subtle violet tinge  
 of the mist. It swirls around the great, heavy barricade that's been set up   
 here.                                                                         
                                                                               
 It's quite the barricade. The door in front of you has been blocked from      
 this side with everything someone could get their hands on. Broken chairs,    
 tables, an entire liquor cabinet and even a huge treasure chest have been     
 hastily shoved in front of the door, as if to block off whatever might come   
 through.                                                                      
                                                                               
 The blackened spray of liquid on the floor suggests that whatever it was      
 came through anyway.                                                          
                                                                               
 It will take time to move all of this away from the door. The room's narrow   
 enough that finding a place for it all will be tough... and worse yet, every  
 now and then, something you moved away from the door will begin to slide      
 back there almost of its own volition, almost as if someone wants to keep     
 something out, even though it no longer can.                                  
                                                                               
                                                        ...go away...
=Dungeon Conditions: Vault====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Tethelle's hand on her shoulder centres Talise a little. She looks over to the shorter woman, her smile small and tight, then back to Layna and Rosaline. "Thanks... this is... this is kind of a surprise."

Getting over the rocks is easier for some than for others, and Talise nearly falls into the sea two-thirds of the way there as her armoured heel hits a slippery patch. Her arms pinwheel, and she gasps - but Tethelle's there to reel her back in. Rosaline, too, hits a slippery rock and nearly slides into the water, saved by virtue of Ida being there to support her.

Soon enough, though, they've reached the side of the ship, just below a large gash in the hull - and the tinge of the mist is unmistakable. There's a subtle note of violet to it.

"Malevolence," Talise utters, tensing. "There's Malevolence on the ship."

The ship she grew up on. Here, and choked with the thing she dislikes most.

For a few seconds, Talise hesitates, then boosts herself through the hole in the ship's side and into one of the rooms beneath the main deck. The mist is no thinner here. It eddies and curls, ebbing and receding, almost like the breath of some living thing.

        ...the most precious treasure...

Talise snaps her eyes left and right as if trying to find where the whisper is coming from - but all she sees is a familiar quartermaster's room. "...Old Bill's room," she murmurs, before her eyes fall on the door.

Virtually everything in the room has been shoved in front of the door - chairs, tables, a liquor cabinet, a huge chest. Whatever they were trying to keep out seems to have made it regardless, leaving a dark spray on the floor that can only be blood. Talise swallows her gorge. "...What happened to them," she asks nobody in particular before beginning to move the chest out of the way.

It begins to slide slowly back towards the door the second she sets it aside.

                                                ...go away...

DG: Talise Gianfair has used her Tool Ogre Power Gauntlets toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia tenses at the news that there is Malevolence aboard. "We'll...we'll be all right, even though there is Malevolence. We have Lanval and..."

She trails off.

She swallows hard. This isn't like when she returned home, even when she returned to find an empty house. This...is worse. She doesn't know what to say to make things not suck. Fortunately, Chauncey and his digging claws are good at moving things aside.

DG: Sephilia Lampbright has used her Tool Digging Claws toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna moves forward. She nearly jumps to help out when Talise and Rosaline start to fall, but others are there to help them and so she relaxes, just a touch.

And as they draw closer, she feels a familiar sensation. Talise is the first one to put words to it.

"...Aye." Layna replies, grimly.

If it came down to it, they might have to try and purify it. A good number of them here had that power now, after all. But...that was assuming they could.

She follows after Talise as her friend slips into the ship. They find themselves in a room that Talise mention as Old Bill's, and the door's been blocked by a good amount of debris.

...Not that it seemed to help. Layna can only guess what happened, but decides to leave Talise's question unanswered.

"...I'm going to try to break through the lot of this." Layna decides, drawing out her drill and slotting it over her right bracer. She powers it up, though before taking it to the blockade she waits a moment in case Talise decides to stop her.

Layna is fine with moving things the hard way, but with the way everything is going right back to where it was, she's not sure how well that'll work.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Arm-Mounted Drill toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval doesn't say anything about Talise's assertion about what it is. The Oracle gets himself out of the water with a bubble, happening along behind the lot of them as Talise deals with the emotional rollercoaster - the proof of there having been some sort of tragedy that could not be stopped.
        He moves to lay a hand on one of Talise's shoulders in a show of support, as the will of a conflicted lingering sentiment manifests in moving to try and undo their work. He has a gentle (if stupid, as always) smile, eyes half-way open.
        Moments later he takes stock of everyone else, as if to gauge their emotional health going into something like this. As Sephilia's words cut off and swallows, he comes along over to her.
        "We got each other," he offers as he looks to the assorted detritus that will not stay off to the side as it is moved. He takes a seat (not too helpful) for a while as he parses the whispers. Malevolence is a thing of contradictions. A most precious treasure... a desire for them to go away.
        Somewhere in all of this he tries to dig into the contents of the liquor cabinet - of course he's going to. It has the side effect of making it lighter and easier to keep putting back out of the way.

DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Ida manages to keep up with the others, which is no small feat. She watches Tethelle and Rosaline, making note of where the safer spots are--and when Rosaline slips, Ida thrusts out her walking stick, holding it out for the Etone to grab. She holds on tight, keeping the handhold in place until Rosaline has her footing again. Ida offers a small, gentle smile to her friend, and then clambers across the final stretch of rock.

        'There's Malevolence on the ship.'

        "I can take its measure," Ida offers, her smile growing softer, more empathetic. The young woman sucks in a breath, allowing the mist to seep into her lungs--but no further. She traces out the twists of its emotional resonance, much like a socialite might sample the notes of a fine new prefume. Ida lets out her breath, and takes another. As she does, she steps forwards, and thrusts the butt of her walking stick into the mass of debris. It's sturdy, but it's not meant as a prybar--which means Ida can't exert much force. Will it be enough?

DG: Ida Everstead-Rey has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle may be short, but at least that means she's stable. She manages to catch Talise *before* she falls in, though she slides slightly on the rock (and is glad for her boot, which breaks off one of the sharp barnacles before she feels it).

"I thought I felt it," Tethelle says, eyes narrowing slightly. Tethelle is sensitive enough to pick up on Malevolence even if she's no Oracle or Seer; her purification technique is more like a blunt instrument compared to their scalpel (in that it takes far more effort than it should, you're going to cause a lot of incidental damage with it, and it's really the wrong tool for the job) but she's struck at Hellions before and she can do it again.

But on Talise's family's ship...

Tethelle vaults in after Talise. She still has her sword in hand, at first at least, and she seems to be looking for a target to strike for a moment - but there is none visible. The tip of her blade touches down against the old spray for a moment before recoiling upward.

After that, Tethelle does put her blade aside, returning it to its carrier. This is solely so she can help move things - and she doesn't just push them aside, she starts dragging some items further away from the door so that a) they take longer to get back, and b) smaller, lighter items will get back first and make any rebuilt barricade a little less sturdy. You don't put the big heavy stuff on top. That's no way to make a useful pile.

DG: Tethelle Cirdian has used her Tool Power Gloves toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Once again, Rosaline slips, this time letting out a tiny wail as it seems she really is going to go for a plunge this time, but Ida has her covered. A gloved hand grabs for the walking stick, and the Etone hefts herself up with a sigh of relief. "Thank you. And I thought I would be keeping an eye out to make sure you were all right." She returns the smile. (She'll still be keeping an eye out-- It's what she does!)

As she steps aboard, Rosaline doesn't need to see the purple, let alone hear Talise's reaction to it. Her hair is already standing on end, and she knows precisely what this means.

"Oh no... Oh no!"

This is unfortunate news, but the Etone takes a deep breath before speaking up again. "But remember-- We can fight it. We're stronger now. All of us." Not that they should underestimate the miasma's influence, but she doesn't think anyone here needs to be reminded of that. As if to illustrate, she cups her hands to produce a tiny, white flame. The Malevolence around them thins out noticeably, but soon the flame is out. Rosaline can't afford to waste this particular sorcery, but hopefully she's made her point.

They find the remains of a chilling scene, and a familiar sort of obstacle. She doesn't hesitate to draw Mother's Mercy as usual, but only pauses when Talise speaks up. This is still her home, after all. What is left of it.

"Is it okay if I...?" Others are already moving in to start breaking things, and so Rosaline soon joins in. Blowing the past up is an adequate way to let go of it, she supposes.

DG: Rosaline Calice has used her Tool Demolition Rounds toward her party's challenge, No Further To Us At Last.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - No Further To Us At Last *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...the most precious treasure...                                              
                                                                               
 The whispers eddy around you, very faint, carried on the subtle violet tinge  
 of the mist. It swirls around the great, heavy barricade that's been set up   
 here.                                                                         
                                                                               
 It's quite the barricade. The door in front of you has been blocked from      
 this side with everything someone could get their hands on. Broken chairs,    
 tables, an entire liquor cabinet and even a huge treasure chest have been     
 hastily shoved in front of the door, as if to block off whatever might come   
 through.                                                                      
                                                                               
 The blackened spray of liquid on the floor suggests that whatever it was      
 came through anyway.                                                          
                                                                               
 It will take time to move all of this away from the door. The room's narrow   
 enough that finding a place for it all will be tough... and worse yet, every  
 now and then, something you moved away from the door will begin to slide      
 back there almost of its own volition, almost as if someone wants to keep     
 something out, even though it no longer can.                                  
                                                                               
                                                        ...go away...
=Dungeon Conditions: Vault====================================================
======================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle - Round 2 *>======================
======================< Results - No Further To Us At Last >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talise Gianfair                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Ogre Power Gauntlets                2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ida Everstead-Rey                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rosaline Calice                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Demolition Rounds                   2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Arm-Mounted Drill                   3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tethelle Cirdian                    0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Power Gloves                        2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sephilia Lampbright                 0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Digging Claws                       3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Talise Gianfair             20 --(30)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Injure(1)|Vault(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Talise Gianfair has passed this challenge! The party gained 30 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: Talise Gianfair has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - Foolish Dreamers Turn Their Gaze *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...drink up, my lads...                                                       
                                                                               
 Once, this room was the Lunabelle's mess hall. Now, most of the furniture     
 has been overturned and broken, the chamber left in utter disarray. A few     
 items still gleam among the wreckage, though - a gold goblet here, an old     
 saber there. The things once enjoyed by the crew.                             
                                                                               
 And then you step into the room, and it becomes clear you're not alone.       
                                                                               
 Sibilant hisses shudder through the air around you. Movement registers in     
 your peripheral vision. You can't see them clearly - every time you look at   
 them, they seem to flit away. But they're there - whispy shapes, vaguely      
 like men and women, half-skeletal, half-formed, drifting towards you,         
 drifting away when you glance towards them, only for another to begin to      
 float close.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Weapons gleam in their hands. They're amorphous things - miasmas of dark      
 energy.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Rounding to fight them is impossible; they recede into your peripheral        
 vision if you try to turn. Every time you turn to face a shape in your        
 peripheral vision, it backs away - but a new one begins to rear. Getting      
 through the room will take a lot of quick movement and a lot of eluding the   
 amorphous ghost crew that never seem to want to face you directly.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

The bottles Lanval pulls off the shelf are all either empty or full of something that can only be described as rot. Nothing in there is good to drink save one bottle full of an incredibly old port that's still good.

"We'll be alright," Talise echoes Sephilia with a stiff nod, trying to sound like she believes it. The washed-out colour of her face betrays her. This is not how she envisioned coming home. Seeing the ship like this--

She squares her shoulders and scowls, focusing. Just deal. I'm strong enough to bear this. It's been ten years.

Ten long years.

The Malevolence Ida measures is thick - and old. Older than any ship Talise was born on has a right to be. The two former Furies can feel it most keenly. The whispers are the most clear to them, the note of longing behind them deep and aching. Searching for something.

                                                ...somewhere...

"Yeah. Yeah, go ahead, Ros'," Talise answers the catgirl. "We need to find out what happened...."

She trails off at the sight of the chest scooting across the floor. A chill races up her back. "...They were trying to keep something out," she whispers. The understanding weighs her down as she reaches for the liquor cabinet.

Tethelle's strategy is well-placed; they move the big items aside, and the little ones impede the big ones from scooting closer. Ida's lever helps to pry a huge trunk out of the way, revealing a few high-quality weapons within. Then Layna and Rosaline see to the rest.

The door bursts open in a spray of splinters - and as Talise steps through into the room beyond, the mist begins to eddy.

                                        ...drink up, my lads...

"Captain Goldhand," Talise breathes as she stares around the room that clearly was once the mess hall - now in utter disarray. Near the back of the room, a door and stairwell lead up.

But the mists ripple - and in the corner of everyone's eye, something begins to take shape. A rotting, skeletal figure, clad in rags, brandishing a knife. Each person sees one different. Some are clearly male, some female - and drawing closer.

With a hiss, Talise draws Rastaban, rounding on the ghost - but she blinks as it's suddenly gone from her vision. "What the hell," she says with a blink.

Out of the corner of her eye, another phantom looms -- "Crewman Garth," she breathes, turning, but the ghost's gone again. She backs deeper into the room - and another phantom begins to fade into her peripheral vision.

Talise swallows. "...Let's run," she recommends before bolting for the stairs.

DG: Talise Gianfair has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their
Gaze.
<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia knows about ghosts, a little. She's faced them before. She does not have any desire to engage with the ghosts here, even moreso because they are ghosts that Talise knows the names of.

We have each other, she reminds herself. Maybe she's getting older, because she doesn't verbalize it like she would have constantly been doing a couple years ago.

She just runs.

DG: Sephilia Lampbright has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their
Gaze.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Aye, lass. We've more than proven our mettle by mow." Layna says, replying to Rosaline's comment with a firm nod as they break down the rest of the blockade.

They step out into a mess hall. Layna takes a quick look around, taking it in with a slight frown. This place...she couldn't help but feel a pang of sadness.

It doesn't last long, however - replaced by a new sensation as she catches the sight of movement at the corners of her eyes. Layna turns to face it fully, but it fades before she can catch a glimpse of it. She curses under her breath, and looks back at Talise who seems to have experienced the same thing.

"...Aye, you've got the right of it, I'd wager." She agrees. She draws out her flask again, taking another swig before continuing after her.

She's not eager to fight something that vanishes when she looks at it...though, she's not eager to face these phantoms anyway.

Trawling through a ghost ship was a completely different beast when the ghosts were a friend's family.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Quartermaster's Stash toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their
Gaze.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

"They were searching for something," Rosaline says, only a moment later realizing how obvious this must be. And so, she falls silent once again, letting her shotgun do the talking.

What used to be a merry mess hall is but a shadow of its former self. Already, Rosaline reaching into her bag for her vial of holy water, prepared for a fight, but she doesn't like these odds. Talise has a much better suggestion.

"Ah! All right!"

She tucks the item back in and takes off, her gaze darting as she makes a beeline for the door. She doesn't dare blink-- it seems her vision is her most potent weapon in this place, such as it is.

DG: Rosaline Calice has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their
Gaze.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval takes the aged bottle of port and stows it away, as the obstructions are dealt with. The door shattering open gets a rise, in so much that Lanval opens one eye almost all of the way as there is an invitation to 'drink up, my lads.'
        Talise recounts that name - and others - as phantoms dancing in the peripheral vision all approach for their pound of flesh, and Talise takes up her sword. He sees how they back away when she faces one head on, when she shows she's willing to fight back.
        He starts to stroke his chin. This was her family for many years, wasn't it? He can't get a clear look at any of them either, and it's only when he turns his head that he feels an uncomfortably close sensation of looming desperation, searching for something. Something that would go through his manifestation, but doesn't.
        This doesn't bring safety. They'll keep coming from every angle just at the edges of sight.
        Lanval closes his eyes. This gives them all the angles to approach him from. In his hand next, that 'smoking' pipe of his. He exhales deep, and there are bubbles.
        Shining, iridescent bubbles, casting faintly reflective surfaces everywhere. Catching the eerie, faint purple phantoms by sight, to try and turn the circumstance around. They are not surrounded.
        The phantoms stand to be surrounded instead by all these bubbles, as Lanval follows along at a measured and (mostly) upright walking posture, keeping his eyes closed in tranquility.

DG: Seraph Lanval has used his Tool Bubble Pipe toward his party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their Gaze.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        The trunk slides out of place. Ida smacks the lock with her walking stick, and allows the others to clean it out. "Whatever they were searching for," Ida says, "I don't think they ever found it." She turns to Talise, her eyes big. A chill runs down her spine as the former sailor connects the dots, and comes to her own conclusion. "Stay within sight of each other." Ida pushes aside a few last scraps of rotting wood, and steps through, after the others.

        'Captain Goldhand.'

        Ida goes perfectly still as Talise speaks the name, her walking stick raised. Malevolence condenses in the corner of her eye, but she can't put a name to the half-skeletal face that forms. "Malevolence phantoms," Ida whispers. She has plenty of experience with them in feline form, but these are a different strain. Talise gives the order to run, and Ida follows. Wind erupts behind her, offering a favorable tailwind as she bolts for the staircase. Don't trip, she thinks. Please, work.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Turns out moving heavy objects a long way is hard work. Tethelle has to do it in bursts - but eventually the whole group gets through. Into...

Ghosts. Ghosts and phantoms, formed of Malevolence and something else. Spirits, anyway. Tethelle redraws her sword, the faintest shimmer of green-gold light dancing along the reconstructed blade as she does. None of the phantoms are familiar to her in the way they are to Talise, but she can tell they mean something to her.

Tethelle turns from one to the other, trying to just *focus* on one enough to strike it clearly. But she can't get a good look, no matter how she tries; she turns, and turns again, holding her blade defensively but never quite finding an opening.

"I will cover you," she says, before drawing her stone Medium with her other hand and then thrusting her blade into the wooden deck, point-first.

More swords - purest energy, channeled through Tethelle's Medium - strike upward from the floor without damaging it in the least. They form a rough fence along a path, two rows of them with a gap between like a road glowing in green-gold. It's a clear route out, as the blades might repel ghosts for a moment even if it does them no damage.

Tethelle pulls her sword out from the deck. And *then* she joins in the running.

DG: Tethelle Cirdian has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their
Gaze.
DG: Ida Everstead-Rey has used her Tool Zephyr Boots toward her party's challenge, Foolish Dreamers Turn Their Gaze.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - Foolish Dreamers Turn Their Gaze *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...drink up, my lads...                                                       
                                                                               
 Once, this room was the Lunabelle's mess hall. Now, most of the furniture     
 has been overturned and broken, the chamber left in utter disarray. A few     
 items still gleam among the wreckage, though - a gold goblet here, an old     
 saber there. The things once enjoyed by the crew.                             
                                                                               
 And then you step into the room, and it becomes clear you're not alone.       
                                                                               
 Sibilant hisses shudder through the air around you. Movement registers in     
 your peripheral vision. You can't see them clearly - every time you look at   
 them, they seem to flit away. But they're there - whispy shapes, vaguely      
 like men and women, half-skeletal, half-formed, drifting towards you,         
 drifting away when you glance towards them, only for another to begin to      
 float close.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Weapons gleam in their hands. They're amorphous things - miasmas of dark      
 energy.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Rounding to fight them is impossible; they recede into your peripheral        
 vision if you try to turn. Every time you turn to face a shape in your        
 peripheral vision, it backs away - but a new one begins to rear. Getting      
 through the room will take a lot of quick movement and a lot of eluding the   
 amorphous ghost crew that never seem to want to face you directly.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
======================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle - Round 3 *>======================
==================< Results - Foolish Dreamers Turn Their Gaze >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talise Gianfair                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Bubble Pipe                         3   Agility Effects: Rally                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ida Everstead-Rey                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Zephyr Boots                        2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rosaline Calice                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Quartermaster's Stash               2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tethelle Cirdian                    0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sephilia Lampbright                 0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Talise Gianfair             50 --(25)--> 75                Pass
Conditions: Treasure(1)
Effects: Quicken(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Talise Gianfair has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 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: Talise Gianfair has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - All I Need... Desperately *>====================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...let me tell you an old tale...                                             
                                                                               
 The doorway to the captain's cabin stands ajar... but though nothing emerges  
 to confront you, it's clear that you're not alone. There's a whisper on the   
 air. An old man's voice, as if dimly remembered... more felt in the mind      
 than heard. A subtle haze of purple that hangs around the doorway, eddying    
 into faint whisps and streams. A faint odour of pipe tobacco that teases the  
 edges of the senses, coming from everywhere and nowhere.                      
                                                                               
 The strum of lute strings that seems to come from everywhere at once.         
                                                                               
                ...an old story from a bygone age...                                        
                                                                               
 The soft pluck of phantom lute strings is slow and seductive. It evokes       
 thoughts that aren't yours. Thoughts of heroes and villains - thoughts of     
 dragons and vile demons. And yet they're all subtly... wrong. The dragons     
 weaving through your thoughts are twisted with Malevolence. The heroes burn   
 with it. The notes of the lute drip with it.                                  
                                                                               
 They want you to listen.                                                      
                                                                               
                                ...stay and listen forever....                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Suffer==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

They run.

Boy oh boy do they run. The one bringing up the rear is Sephilia, and a ghost looms in her peripheral vision, cutlass raised - but Lanval's bubbles manage to form a barrier, and the phantom is lost before she's swept along and up the stairs.

On the deck, the phantoms are not in evidence - but the mist is heavier here. It coils and whirls into bizarre shapes, vaguely reminiscent of faces if you squint at them the right way, amorphous, ambiguous, but eerie. Coils of it breathe around ankles and legs in foggy tendrils, tinged that eerie violet. The slow creak of the masts and decking feels more like the ship inhaling and exhaling, as if the entire thing were alive with Malevolence.

Talise looks down the deck of the ship, eyes hardening. "Whatever Hellion did this," she begins, before pausing and shelving the thought. She doesn't know.

"...They told me they were hired to find the most incredible treasure yet," Talise tells Rosaline a bit breathlessly. "And that it was too dangerous to have kids along. That's why I was left behind when they--"

She cuts off. Swallowing hard, she looks up towards the sky, tightening her hand around her sword.

She was left behind - and spared the fate of everyone else aboard. The crew, Captain Goldhand, and--

Trying not to think about the cold weight settling into her heart, Talise steps forward, sword at the ready. "Let's try the captain's quarters. Goldhand must've written something down in his logbook."

Ahead, the doorway to the main cabin waits - but as they craw close, the mist thickens slowly, and something echoes faintly through it.

The note of an old lute.

        ...let me tell you an old tale...

Talise brings herself up short, blinking rapidly. "Uncle Piet," she breathes, her hand coming up to her collar. "But... but he wasn't here when the ship sank-"

The lute strums again. On the air, a faint odour of pipe tobacco can be heard. It's a memory fondly remembered - yet turned on its head. It evokes thoughts. Thoughts of heroes, of villains, of legends.

                        ...a story from a bygone age...

The memories come unbidden - and they're not the ones you remember. They're all subtly wrong. They fight to consume your focus and fix you to the spot - to draw you into the tales. Talise - the storyteller in her rapt by the memory of the storyteller who made her who she is - can only stand, open-mouthed.

She reaches into her hip pouch. Pulls out a bottle.

And smashes it against the deck in a startling spray of glass.

"I'M NOT LISTENING TO THIS," she roars into the mist, defiant. "Uncle Piet is dead! I saw his grave! You are not going to fool me this way!!"

DG: Talise Gianfair has used her Tool Old Man Ettlesbury's Olde-Fashioned Schnapps toward her party's challenge, All I
Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

As Talise explains what happened - how she was left behind when the Lunabelle was hired to find 'the most incredible treasure' - Layna listens quietly.

"Aye, that's a good idea." She agrees with a nod toward Talise. They spot the main cabin, but before they can approach there's that voice again. And then, the sound of a lute.

The lute evokes memories...but, they're wrong. Layna struggles against it...and Talise's defiant roar finally snaps her out of it.

"...What're they tryin' to pull...?" Layna mutters. She draws out her telescope and uses it to peer about. Maybe she can catch sign of something - something that will help them out here, or possibly help them figure out what's going on before they're drawn back into the memories.

They couldn't stop here - not yet.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Captain's Telescope toward her party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        It might not have been a Hellion, Ida thinks, but does not say. She follows Talise closely, a silent, steadying presence at her right flank. Her walking stick taps out a slow, steady rhythm, accompanying the footsteps. "It happened," Ida says, when Talise cuts off. "How does it make you feel?" She glances down at the other woman's sword-hand, and sees the tightness in her knuckles. Ida can't help but empathize. The horrible sense of wrongness has been dogging her, too, but it's a wrongness that she knows very intimately. She doesn't feel the need to push it away, or to cleanse it immediately.

        In that way, perhaps, her time as a Hellion was a blessing.

        "It doesn't matter," Ida says. "He was loved by the crew, yes? This might be a memory of him, but--" She trails off. Memories pour through her mind, and Ida lets them in, breathing slowly, steadily. Her fingers tighten around the walking stick. Her other hand dips into her pocket, wrapping around the multitool there, a solid reminder of the one she loves.

        "Breathe," Ida says. Her voice is quiet, but forceful. Just 'Breathe'. Not 'don't get angry', or 'don't let it get into your head'. It might be paradoxical that Ida seems relatively at ease in a seething pit of Malevolence, but that's precisely what's happening.

DG: Ida Everstead-Rey has used her Tool Multitool toward her party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Well, it seems Talise's parents were right about this journey being too dangerous, Rosaline thinks, eliciting not to voice it. Instead: "...I'm sorry."

But Talise has an idea, which elicits a nod and gets the team back on track. For a time, at least, as soon they smell pipe weed, hear the strumming of a lute, and find themselves lost in enrapturing tales...

Once upon a time, Rosaline loved storytime. The stories were often the same: tales of Granas' noble sacrifice, unexciting morality plays or fables about the endless ways in which humanity's hubris would manifest and be punished by divine hand. But once in a while, a kindly old nun would break protocol and tell a more exciting story. Rosaline's favorites were about pirates.

And so, in the Etone's hazy mind, there is a sort of poetry to the way pirates on a pirate ship apparently tell each other stories that aren't about the sea.

She hears the sound of shattering glass and Talise's scream. Rosaline shakes her head. She reaches into her bag, mind still foggy, and pulls out the noisiest item she can find. Soon, the Katz Bell rings out.

"Mew'd best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turnyaa. You're in meow."

Kobayashi, face underlit by a tiny kitty flashlight, has (re-?)joined the group. Rosaline looks down, both relieved and alarmed at the Katz's appearance.

"Please, Kobayashi... This isn't really the time!"

"Oh, sorry meow."

DG: Rosaline Calice has used her Tool Katz Kall toward her party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy picked up a bruise and an embarrassing loss of dignity. Fortunately she did not pick up a ghostly demise.

"Talise..." she murmurs.

There's a lute playing, but the melody is wrong. She knows the song. "Talise, we're here with you. We have each other. Dad taught me, always remember we have each other. You showed me that too!" She doesn't know if her words are right, if they will even help, but she'd want the reassurance if it were her...

DG: Sephilia Lampbright has used her Tool Dad's Journal toward her party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle's path of swords fades, one after another, as she runs past them. The essence of Sword is not to guide, after all, but to hold back the darkness - or in this case, the ghosts. It's a short-lived barrier, but one that is nonetheless useful.

She bursts out onto the deck in a swirl of mist. Between the light of her still faintly-glowing Medium and the way the mist twists and distorts light, she looks positively demonic for a while - though the particular shade of light is far brighter, less distorted, somehow *purer* than anything hellish.

"It's worth a shot," Tethelle says, breaking the moment when Talise suggests they check the captain's quarters. She didn't hear everything leading up to that, but that was enough. Not being familiar with ships of this make, though... "Which way is it?"

Well, she tried.

While she's trying to orient herself, she hears lute music. Faintly at first, but louder a moment later, and reflexively Tethelle turns toward it. Her brows furrow as she tries to make it out. She slows her pace, switching from a hustle to a walk to -

Talise shatters a bottle against the deck.

That's enough to make Tethelle jump - literally as it turns out - and slash her sword at nothing at all. The fog parts around her faintly shining blade, though it streams back into place in its wake. She would be embarrassed about this if it wasn't on a ghost ship, when attacking things you can barely see and may not be solid is not only normal but occasionally a good idea.

Holding up the blade before her, held vertically, point to the sky, Tethelle focuses on the edge of the blade. She does walk slower after that, as if in some sort of meditation - but she seems at least slightly less hampered by the voices.

DG: Tethelle Cirdian has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        The Water Searph's stride, though on occasion teetering and swaying, largely holds going up the steps as he takes a few more drags off of the bubble pipe all the way up that staircase as a safety measure.
        He turns to look to Sephilia with one half-open eye as she runs the risk of falling behind, but there's not so much haste in his own step - as if willing to stand and allow her what time she needs to find her stride and get the heck out of there!
        Lanval catches up after Sephilia is safe, to overhear the story being told by Talise about what happened to this ship - last she knew, anyway. When she goes silent, Lanval visibly tenses up some, and that kiseru-style pipe is no longer in his grasp.
        Into the mists, he walks with the rest. He hears the whispers the same as anyone else, to the subtle discordant tune of the old lute. An old tale, from a bygone age... Talise expresses her surprise with something that shouldn't be.
        He lets Ida, a former Hellion who drank deep into the Malevolence, take point as a mortal-to-mortal piece of advice. Something about this all strikes him in some way - not in that it is captivating. The way the stories are spoken, the images of frightening beasts twisted into worse, of heroes that did not rise above - and were swept away - by this encroaching evil.
        It's all so... discouraging, isn't it? Like it wants the listener to stay and heed these tales of tragedy, failure, and punishment for--
        --even as an Oracle, and a Seraph of greater spiritual strength than first appears, it is dangerous to linger in its company willy-nilly. He's heard enough. He ambles along ahead as a number of the others speak their support, their confidence, their lessons, their indiscretions...
        "Hey, Talise~" Lanval speaks up, standing in front of her, facing her wearing those awful mood-ruining beer lens glasses again. Is he ever going to get rid of them? He's got the dumbest cat-like smile on his face as he stands as upright as he's going to manage before Talise. He's shorter than her. She'd have to look down a bit, but...
        She'll be able to see herself in those amber-tinted lenses.
        "If ya want," he starts, "I'll recite to 'em shome really good shtoriesh... yep. Make 'em lishten inshtead."
        Whatever the stories that helped mold Talise into the bard she is today... the very stories she is a part of sure came out a lot better than these tales, huh?
        A tale that's still ongoing.
        A tale of Talise and her friends who are going to go to the captain's quarters.

DG: Seraph Lanval has used his Tool Amber Tinted Glasses toward his party's challenge, All I Need... Desperately.
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - All I Need... Desperately *>====================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 ...let me tell you an old tale...                                             
                                                                               
 The doorway to the captain's cabin stands ajar... but though nothing emerges  
 to confront you, it's clear that you're not alone. There's a whisper on the   
 air. An old man's voice, as if dimly remembered... more felt in the mind      
 than heard. A subtle haze of purple that hangs around the doorway, eddying    
 into faint whisps and streams. A faint odour of pipe tobacco that teases the  
 edges of the senses, coming from everywhere and nowhere.                      
                                                                               
 The strum of lute strings that seems to come from everywhere at once.         
                                                                               
                ...an old story from a bygone age...                                        
                                                                               
 The soft pluck of phantom lute strings is slow and seductive. It evokes       
 thoughts that aren't yours. Thoughts of heroes and villains - thoughts of     
 dragons and vile demons. And yet they're all subtly... wrong. The dragons     
 weaving through your thoughts are twisted with Malevolence. The heroes burn   
 with it. The notes of the lute drip with it.                                  
                                                                               
 They want you to listen.                                                      
                                                                               
                                ...stay and listen forever....                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Suffer==========================================
======================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle - Round 4 *>======================
=====================< Results - All I Need... Desperately >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talise Gianfair                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Old Man Ettlesbury's Olde-Fashioned 1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Amber Tinted Glasses                3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ida Everstead-Rey                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Multitool                           2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rosaline Calice                     10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Katz Kall                           2   Wits    Effects: Fanfare and Rally    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Captain's Telescope                 3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tethelle Cirdian                    0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sephilia Lampbright                 5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Dad's Journal                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Talise Gianfair             75 --(35)--> 110               Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Suffer(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Enlighten(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Talise Gianfair has successfully explored Wreck of the Lunabelle!
===========================<* Wreck of the Lunabelle *>===========================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Is My Star To Come *>=======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The Malevolence around the captain's quarters is somewhat less than that on   
 the deck itself, but it's clear that Captain Goldhand must've awoken in a     
 hurry on his final day. What's left of the bunk is badly mussed, the room is  
 in disarray and several books have fallen to the floor. But some things can   
 still be found - like his desk, with a book sitting open upon its face.       
                                                                               
 It's the pirate captain's logbook. To leaf through it is to find a series of  
 entries.                                                                      
                                                                               
        July 9 4058 - Set sail from Meribia. Left some of the younger crew behind.   
 This is too dangerous for children. But the opportunity can't be passed up -  
 not if what the contact says has any truth to it. It could be the greatest    
 discovery in history.                                                         
                                                                               
        September 17 4058 - Been at sail for two months bound due east. Still        
 haven't sighted land. The water supplies are pretty deep but if we don't      
 sight land soon we're going to have to turn back and look for a source of     
 fresh. Beginning to think that the contact was full of dragon diamonds.       
                                                                               
        September 22 4058 - Spotted whimbrels this morning. They are shorebirds.     
 Ordered the crew to swing around to follow them. Spira must be close.         
                                                                               
        September 23 4058 - Tanin spotted what looked like land far to the east. If  
 true, it may be that we are the first crew to see Spira. We'll locate fresh   
 water and then begin the search. If true, discovering the lost Relic of       
 Althena could be the greate                                                   
                                                                               
 The log abruptly cuts off into a scribble, as if the writer dropped his pen   
 before he could finish. The next few pages are blank, but one has been        
 dog-eared. To open it is to find it smeared with something dark and vaguely   
 reddish - with words not so much written on it as /carved./                   
                                                                               
                                                LET US DIE
                                                                               
 The ship groans subtly beneath you. The hiss and breath of those Malevolent   
 whispers groans louder. Mist curls - and from outside on the deck, there is   
 the sound of a footfall....                                                   
                                                                               
                                                        ...talise...
=Dungeon Conditions: Vault====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

The crash of the glass interrupts the lute notes startlingly. The mist flickers and pulses as if stung.

"Not great," Talise manages to answer Ida's first question before setting her jaw, then letting her breath out in a rush. She focuses.

Breathes. It takes effort. The pluck of the lute returns - but it feels more distant this time.

Lanval's good humour helps. So does Tethelle's meditation - so does Kobayashi's interjection, for that matter. It centers things. Reminds them that there is a world beyond the story the music and voice want to draw them into. Talise follows Ida's advice.

She breathes. Remembers what the Green Knight tried to tell them, in what garbled language he knew.

Slowly, the lute notes fade away. The mist writhes, almost sullen in defeat. And Talise squares her shoulders before putting an arm around Sephilia, giving her a squeeze. "...Yeah. We're in it together. Let's go." She strides forward, winds up - and kicks in the door with a loud splintering of wood.

The room within is somewhat less choked with Malevolence than the rest of the ship - but the captain's bunk is badly mussed, the room in disarray. A few things have fallen to the floor. "Sorry, Captain," Talise mutters as she beelines for the desk and picks something up.

"Here," she says intently. "Goldhand wasn't much of a log-keeper but he at least wrote things down every few weeks or so. Maybe there's something in here."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Together, they manage to endure it. The sound of the lute returns, but more distant, and Layna allows herself to relax a little.

She stows away her telescope as the lute fades away completely, following Talise through the door into the captain's cabin.

There's less Malevolence here - an interesting observation, though one she's sure the others have picked up on, too.

Curious, that.

She considers this for a moment, but instead takes a look around. The room is in disarray...was there a struggle here, or was it just a result of time and whatever occurred aboard the ship?

She frowns slightly, then glances toward Talise as she heads for the desk and picks up the captain's log.

"...Aye, that's a good idea." She comments with a nod. Maybe it'd help - at the moment, they didn't have much to go on.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

This isn't the way Tethelle usually meditates, but the way she usually focuses is with martial arts kata, practice and exercise. It would be a little hard to do that here.

Tethelle lowers her sword from the raised position once they get inside, though she does not put it away again. She did that once and look where it got her.

"I can't imagine that someone would not have written down an important discovery," Tethelle says. "And if they came all the way to Spira they must have been hoping to discover; surely a ship couldn't come this far and turn around without making landfall?" For all that she grew up on the coast, around boats, she doesn't know - the boats of her homeland were much smaller, designed for coastal travel and not really suited for long ocean voyages at all.

Tethelle does not go for the log. She goes for the bunk instead, lifting the sheet with her sword-tip to make sure nothing is hiding underneath. She will apologize for making the mess worse later.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy does not go for anything. She just stands, ready to heal if need be or harm if need be, but no matter what she will be there for her friends.

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

The mist recedes and Rosaline's mind clears. "We're doing well so far," she says, attempting to sound encouraging, possibly even with some measure of success. This can't possibly be easy for Talise, and for the rest of them for that matter, but relatively speaking things could be worse.

She and Kobayashi nod and follow Talise into the cabin. Rosaline is by Talise's side, attempting to read the log over her shoulder-- not literally, considering how tall Talise is. Kobayashi meanwhile promptly starts poking around and examining anything that could possibly be a clue. (This includes every object in the room.)

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval takes a moment to watch the shattered door and ensure it's not going to reform and try to keep everyone out. (Part of this involves bubbling and removing some of the debris as if to make a point that it's not going to get to try that.)
        The Oracle of Schturdark comes by the desk near Talise as she re-centers herself and starts to go through the logbook. He does notice that it's thinner in these parts... is whatever the source of all this centered elsewhere on the ship? He thinks better of inducing any doubt as to whether they should be at this part of the ship or not - even with the rallying of her friends, he knows how trying this is on Talise.
        He stands by her in relative quiet, as some theories are shared about by others.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Ida nods to the invisible presence, as if thanking it for its time. She follows after the others into the captain's bunk, an island of quiet calm shrouded by mists of Malevolence. "You're right," Ida says, to Rosaline. "Deep breaths. Remember why you're here." She walks up to Talise, and glances at the logbook. Other than the Malevolence itself, it's the only solid lead as to what happened here.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise smiles crookedly over at Layna. "Not that I expect much detail. He wouldn't want to give the authorities any evidence." Her face is still fairly pale, but she nods to Tethelle nevertheless. "They might have to turn around if they ran down their fresh water supply. It's hard to replenish that at sea."

With a purse of her lips, Talise flips the logbook open, leafing towards the back. "There must be something here," she murmurs.

Then she gasps. "Here --" Squinting at the pages in front of her, she leafs through with a quick swipe of her thumb, pauses to read for a moment, then flips the page again.

"They knew they were going to Spira," she murmurs with wonder. "And look - look here. It says someone hired them to look for something called 'The Relic of Althena.'"

With a blink, Talise looks up, eyes on Ida for a moment, then on Lanval. "...I know most of the old stories on the books and I have no idea what that could be," she admits.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"Yes, but if they were already here, they would get water here first, yes?" Tethelle is certain that that can't be *harder*.

She lets the old sheet slide off her sword tip without stopping it. "The Relic of Althena? But I thought Althena was not known here, before the Guard came. Why would she have a relic in this place?" She looks between the other Lunarians, perhaps assuming they know more than she does (probably true; Tethelle has been pretty obdurate when it comes to learning anything about Althena).

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

        Ida shrugs. "Search me," she says, "but I think Uzda il-Jam is evidence enough that there are things on this world that have been hidden from history."

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline is still attempting to do her best to read along with Talise.

"So they came here hoping to discover Spira and this Relic of Althena...?" She's in the same boat as Tethelle there, used to deferring to the other Lunarians on matters concerning their goddess.

"Well... That's perplexing," she says when Talise admits to not knowing what it could possibly be. If the party's bard doesn't know about a mystical item, who possibly could?

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy nods in agreement with not knowing what it could be. "Dad's journals never mentioned anything even a little like that..." she offers.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna manages a smirk.

"Aye, I know how that is." She says, in a way that implies she's much the same way. Her logbook wouldn't give much, either - even if Dahlia occasionally got on her case about it.

She watches as Talise pages through the logbook, taking everything in. At the mention of 'the Relic of Althena', Layna frowns pensively.

"...Can't say I've an idea, either." She eventually admits, shaking her head. She looks toward Tethelle, then.

"They might not know 'er now, but she must've had presence here at some point. There wouldn't be people here on this world without Althena - least, that's what the stories say." She says. At the mention of Uzda il-Jam, Layna nods.

"...Aye. And it wouldn't be the first time somethin' completely out o' place found itself somewhere." She says, thinking back to the ruins underneath Azado that were supposedly of Elw make.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        "Mmmm," Lanval seems to be caught in deep contemplation about what Talise speaks of, until she looks to him and he thinks a beat later to look up. "I can tell ya, shtraight up... I've never heard of the people of Spira shpeak of Althena... but..."
        But?
        "The people of Spira... they got her Blessing," he continues. There aren't Spirans among them, but he knows that much for sure. "The magic might look a li'l weird... 'shpecially among thoshe whoshe gift ish in the White shide of it. But it ish that, no queshtion about it... Fire, Ice, Water, Lightning... either ash the deshtructive Black, or the reshtorative White..."
        This said, Lanval comes back to the original point. "But ain't no one here know Althena by name, desphite that..."

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"True," Tethelle agrees. "Still, they must have found information about it somewhere else, in that case. Is *that* in the journal at all?"

She (diplomatically, or not, depending on your point of view) does not bring up that there can't be people somewhere Althena isn't.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise frowns, scratching at one cheekstripe with her nails. "I don't know. I had no idea that Spirans had even heard of Althena. Unless someone else found Spira first and brought it here?" She tilts her head towards Tethelle, then Rosaline, before shrugging helplessly.

She nods when Lanval weighs in, frowning and looking back to the logbook. "There must be connections we don't know about," she murmurs as she reads further.

"...That's funny. He cuts off in mid-sentence."

Thumbing the page, Talise leafs through to the next one. It's blank. Then the next one. Then the next one. Then--

Talise's body tenses at once, and she slowly sets the logbook down. Carved into the page in dried reddish... something... are the words 'LET US DIE.'

"Something got to them," she begins, before the deck groans beneath them. The mist begins to eddy - and outside the room, something hits the deck with a creak and a thud. The voice in the mist can be heard more clearly now. It's distinctly feminine.

                                                ...talise...

Talise stares out through the door and presses her lips tightly together.

"...Mom?"