2019-06-08: Giving The Eye Of The Storm A Shiner

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  • Log: 2019-06-08: Giving The Eye Of The Storm A Shiner
  • Cast: Ratatoskr, Ambrosius, Clarissa Arwin, Amaterasu, Marivel Armitage
  • Where: Thunder Plains
  • Date: June 08, 2019
  • Summary: One of the most endearing things about someone who has been raised to parse almost anyone and everything in terms of being 'a fighting opponent' is that even the very forces of nature end up being parsed as being no different from another foot soldier. Ratatoskr's ambitions and misconceptions, at a safe distance, might be entertaining. When he develops the bizarre desire to pick a fight with a lightning storm in the proximity of any of the lightning rod towers in the Thunder Plains, though, it is agreed on multiple fronts that nothing good can come from this - peripheral as it may be to Odessa's interests (at best). Two Veruni and two agents of ARMs try to bring calm to this brewing storm of burning blood before any serious damage happens. (Or any hilarious damage happens.)

==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================

The Thunder Plains, occasionally known as the Gandof Thunder Plains, are an open, barren landscape connecting Guadosalam to the Macalania region. It is an area that is constantly - yes, /constantly/ - bombarded by lightning and thunder. Crossing the plains was all but impossible due to the never-ending storm, until an Al Bhed named Bilghen set up several towering lightning rods to draw the storms' fury and provide travelers with a (comparatively) safe road. He was in the process of setting up the final tower when he was struck by lightning and killed, something which lesser minds would regard as irony, but which the faithful know is poetic justice for a blasphemer against Yevon.

I mean, they'll still /use/ the road. Because Yevon wants them to. 

Clearly.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gea_xz-cJ8
DG: Clarissa Arwin has left your party.
DG: A party led by Ratatoskr is now entering Thunder Plains.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - The Shattered Lands *>==========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The far borders of Guadosalam eventually give way to the barren rock of the   
 Thunder Plains. Here, the storm holds sway: respect it, fear it, but never    
 underestimate it.                                                             
                                                                               
 In the short distance one of the lightning rod towers receives a strike; the  
 dark heavens are briefly illuminated.                                         
                                                                               
 On this end of the eternal storm though the greater threat is the change in   
 terrain. Unstable and broken by countless strikes, there is a real threat of  
 injury should one tread poorly. Whether you opt to power through or apply     
 your own means to adjust this fractured landscape, you must continue on.      
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Injure======================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    "Hyahaha--!" That's a familiar (sadly) laugh, of a crimson-armored horned squirrel-like Hyadean whose armor casts a sinister blood-hued silhouette in the eternal thunderstorm over the Thunder Plains.
     "I didn't get it... Noua Shax, Guardian of Lightning... and yet, there is no greater place for it than here...!" He muses aloud. "Lightning is great... you only know it will be there. Then it strikes...! Loud! Bright! Where, when, within the battlefield it claims... it is only there an instant..."
     He grins ever wider. "So some of the Statues were on this satellite? So some of the Statues were on this satellite!" ...Noua Shax's was very well-documented to be within the Badlands on Filgaia. This goes beyond being misinformed. This is straight-up fantasizing. "So, then, you're here... you've been here, waiting for someone to fight...?"
     Ratatoskr throws his arms out wide in maniacal glee. "Noua Shax...! Fight me!!"
     KRA-KOOM
     Coincidentally, it strikes a nearby lightning rod. Ratatoskr stands there as the rolling thunder disperses its trademark sound across the plains, as if to roll off and go do something else.
     "...Really? Really!! This is the twentieth time!!" Ratatoskr's agitation hits its limit as solid yellow eyes glower upon that lightning rod. It's a cultural relic. A previous warrior fought this storm to erect them. It is against his very nature to obliterate it knowingly and willingly.
     ...
     He moves along up to it, sizing it up and down. "...Will Noua Shax fight me if that is not there? Will Noua Shax fight me if that is not there!" He's musing out loud, so loud, that anyone passing by may be able to glean the real problem that is about to happen:
     a) Ratatoskr is being a stupid youngster and may well decide to disassemble the only true means of protection in going through these plains, and
     b) this is a problem for everyone - whether the locals need to pass through, or ARMs needs to try to make contact with HQ on Filgaia, or otherwise want to do more critical research of the area, and...
     c) while this might be tempting and even hilarious - not to mention tactically convenient - this is not going to end in any other way than Ratatoskr getting hurt in his own imaginary battlefield.
     Nothing good will come of this - but there's a whole lot of rough terrain in the way between anyone else and this tower. So much rubble, so much unstable footing... but no time to waste before a vital artery in Spira's trading routes gets deeply wounded.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Derelict Relic toward his party's challenge, The Shattered Lands.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

The Thunder Plains were of great interest to Ambrosius, for a multitude of reasons. The lightning could, conceivably, prove to be a useful source of energy going forward, and there were other matters about the place that made it convenient for his purposes.

This was not his first foray into the Thunder Plains, but this time he has requested the assistance of one of his comrades.

It is as Ambrosius makes his way through the plains that he hears a familiar voice. He stops in his tracks and turns his head toward Ratatoskr with a slow frown as the young Hyadean ponders something regarding one of the lightning rod towers.

It wouldn't do to let the towers be dismantled.

He adjusts his course, heading straight toward the tower. He gives little care for the terrain, instead powering through it as if it was hardly even an obstacle.

It's unstable nature, however, might make that a touch more difficult.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Shattered Lands.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Clarissa lowers her head and pinches the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger.

The Thunder Plains are one of those places she's bound to adventure - but running into one of Odessa's foot soldiers was bad enough without it being this particular one, the obnoxious Hyadean who only wants to fight. The blonde girl hangs back a ways, watching as Ratatoskr tries to pick a fight with a lightning bolt.

No, Clarissa, she reminds herself after a moment. He's troubled, that's all. Many of Commander Vinsfeld's people seem to be.

With a sigh, Clarissa flicks her hair back - it's in a long, fluffy ponytail today. The flash of thunder overhead briefly illuminates her, and she gasps with a bit of a start at the sound. The terrain it lights ahead is rough and broken, and she's forced to pull a shovel out of her digging kit and lever some of the debris aside as she picks her way over it.

"Could you please not pick fights out here," she calls out over the thunder. "Whatever Odessa's issue is in this area, there's no reason for violence, sir!"

DG: Clarissa Arwin has used her Tool Clarissa's Digging Kit toward her party's challenge, The Shattered Lands.
<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    "So this one seeks battle with the Guardians, then? Hmm, hmm."

    Clad in Veruni battlearmor -- though the significance of that may not necessarily register for all present parties -- the tall soldier stands astride unstable ground.

    Her reason for being here is really quite simple: Ambrosius has an interest in towers and the natural phenomena -- and indeed the Fiends -- so given the danger in this land, she is accompanying him. This is her place in life -- she is here to provide the necessary muscle as she lacks the expertise to otherwise continue their investigation into the Thunder Plains. This is a duty and role she gladly embraces.

    "You are quite the bold one, Metal Demon," she states, apparently to the world at large, before her green-eyed gaze slides sidelong to Ambrosius. She can read his measure there.

    "However. No, we cannot permit this one to do as he pleases," she agrees, and with a simple twist of her wrist, her armor begins to slowly glow. Her march is an undeterred one, no matter what debris finds itself in her path. She steps over it. She pushes it aside.

    She heads ever forward, in a straight line.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool Shielding Module toward her party's challenge, The Shattered Lands.
<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel Armitage has orders to figure out what Odessa is looking for. Ratatoskr seems like a dubious end to that goal but it's better than sitting around worrying about the crusades for another day in a row. The fact Ratatoskr seems to be looking for A Guardian doesn't really adjust the odds here. It's a bit like rolling the dice and thanks to Althenian prohibition, she feels like rolling the dice.

Marivel materializes behind Ratatoskr as he considers smashing apart the very objects Summoners use for their pilgrimage.
R
She raises a fist into the air like Porom.

And.

*BONK*

"No." She says, smiling faintly.

'There's no reason for violence, sir!'

Marivel's smile tightens as she slowly pulls her fist away.

DG: Marivel Armitage has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Shattered Lands.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - The Shattered Lands *>==========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The far borders of Guadosalam eventually give way to the barren rock of the   
 Thunder Plains. Here, the storm holds sway: respect it, fear it, but never    
 underestimate it.                                                             
                                                                               
 In the short distance one of the lightning rod towers receives a strike; the  
 dark heavens are briefly illuminated.                                         
                                                                               
 On this end of the eternal storm though the greater threat is the change in   
 terrain. Unstable and broken by countless strikes, there is a real threat of  
 injury should one tread poorly. Whether you opt to power through or apply     
 your own means to adjust this fractured landscape, you must continue on.      
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Injure======================================
=============================================<* Thunder Plains - Round 1 *>=============================================
===========================================< Results - The Shattered Lands >============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Derelict Relic                      2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marivel Armitage                    0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarissa Arwin                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Clarissa's Digging Kit              1   Brute   Effects: Strengthen and Fanfar
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Shielding Module                    1   Brute   Effects: Rally and Resilient  
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)|Overzealous(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Ratatoskr has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - Land Of Endless Rain *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Lightning isn't the only hazard that falls from the sky in this place. The    
 rain is also an element to be endured.                                        
                                                                               
 This only becomes the more evident when the heavens truly open up upon you    
 now. It falls in sheets, relentlessly, apparently endlessly. There seems to   
 be little-to-no escape to be had from the deluge upon you. All you can do is  
 endure it and power through, or reshape the landscape in some form to ease    
 your passage.                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Very little stops the assembled from pressing onward. They've all had to deal with, in some form or another, impassible obstacles of a more vertical persuasion. These obstacles are nowhere near vertical enough to stop them from clearing the way - by shovel or by sheer stride of not giving a crap.
     Or by teleporting and beaning him with a scolding fist, to greater effect than it should look. (Marivel's fist might sting a little after the fact, though.)
     Ratatoskr looks up to the gathered with those yellowed eyes as they all arrive.
     "Pick fights? Pick fights!" He laughs as he rises up again. "Noua Shax is throwing down their challenge here...! That's why it never moves...! So they want to fight."
     There is no arguing logic with this one, as he gets an idea to just try to take that old derelict gun-blade ARM he totes around in hand...
     "No? No!" He cackles to Marivel.
     "Yes...!" He also cackles this to Marivel.
     He leaps up, thrusting the ancient weapon into the air to make 'Noua Shax' think he's one of the things they like to strike. It comes up short.
     Short, in that lightning strikes the tower again and he has no idea how lucky he is!!
     "Come onnnnnn!!" Ratatoskr growl-whines in a way only a Hyadean really can. "...You know, that would be pretty cool," he remarks off-handedly as the rain starts to pick up again.
     Pick up? More like dead lift. This is rain that's dead lifting. A rain that totally freakin' lifts... and then drops it, because this rain is rapidly turning into the equivalent of a dropped barbell. "If everyone fought here, and then Noua Shax fought too... that would be really cool... I can see it...! Odessa versus ARMs versus the Crusaders versus--"
     The rain starts to drown him out, as though the elements themselves were like 'OH SHUT UP'
     "Hyahaha--! Is that Schturdark too...?!" The Veruni could tell him, point-blank, the Guardians have way less sway here. This is an assertion in error. Heck, others could say 'um, Schturdark's statue was found and destroyed where there was once a settlement by the Tainted.'
     But they'd have to yell it above the pouring rain. Gleefully leaping forward into a further imaginary battle against the elements, Ratatoskr may not be consciously paying attention to a barrier that forms around the gun-blade ARM that expands enough to help stop him from being swept away by the rain. Actually, if one can get close enough, it might help shield them from it too.
     Not like it's a good idea to let him get too far ahead.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Derelict Relic toward his party's challenge, Land Of Endless Rain.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Now Amaterasu, Clarissa recognizes. With a quick blink, the blonde girl looks up at the intimidating Veruni.

Then Marivel shows up and tries for... The Boppening. "Goodness!" Clarissa gasps, cupping her hands to her cheeks.

When Ratatoskr insists he's here to fight a god, Clarissa waves both hands. "No, that's not true! The Guardians live on Filgaia, Mr. Odessa! You're looking for them in the wrong place! Maybe if you go back there, you'll find them."

Clarissa has no idea how Odessa moves back and forth. Maybe if she follows Ratatoskr a little bit, she'll find out.

The drive of rain picks up, pelting her as she darts closer to Marivel. "I'm not sure we can actually talk him down," she admits as she fishes into her drifting kit and comes out with another tool.

It's a big umbrella. It has eight panels alternating in baby blue and pretty pink. Clarissa opens it up and holds it over herself and Marivel daintily.

DG: Clarissa Arwin has used her Tool Clarissa's Digging Kit toward her party's challenge, Land Of Endless Rain.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius returns Amaterasu's glance. The two of them appear to be on the same page here.

He continues forward, frowning just slightly as Ratatoskr insists he wants to fight a Guardian. While that was a notion he could sympathise with, he got the feeling that Ratatoskr's reasons were vastly different from his own.

And, indeed, as Clarissa says, the Guardians are not here - or, at least, their iron-handed grip is weaker this far out.

He does take a brief moment to look over Clarissa and Marivel, offering them only a brief nod of greeting before returning his gaze toward Ratatoskr.

"...You are being a nuisance. Desist." He states, plainly and clearly as he moves forward after him through the rain.

The rain doesn't seem to particularly bother him - in fact, it hardly even seems to be touching him. Such was the advantage of having such a fine control over water, but he still had to contend with the unstable terrain - and the rain was only making that worse.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Land Of Endless Rain.
<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel nods to Ambrosius whom she doesn't know at all but he said Ratatoskr is being a nuisance so she is grateful for his presence.

Being grateful, though, doesn't mean that she sticks around to bother Ambrosius too much. Indeed, it seems like she intends to angle on by Amaterasu and says, "Well if it isn't Amaterasu, by my stars! What luck! Tis always a treat to see a practical friend. Were you able to find your sister?" She hasn't really talked to Kaguya since pointing out that she ran into Amaterasu in the first place.

Wait a minute.

Why is she moving a bit behind Amaterasu?

Is she hoping to use Amaterasu as cover or, better yet, hoping she pushes forward in some extra way that also clears HER a path? That's probably what she's up to.

DG: Marivel Armitage has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Land Of Endless Rain.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

"Wait for meeeee," Clarissa calls as she chases after Marivel, trying to keep the umbrella over her...!

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel totally slows down because Clarissa is holding an umbrella over her head and it's honestly really sweet.

"It's okay." She says. "He might lead us to their secret lair. Or get electrocuted repeatedly. Either way, not a loss."

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Amaterasu recognizes Clarissa, too. If that somewhat lengthier glance she turns the girl's way is any indication.

    And Marivel, for that matter.

    But her attention is, for now, on Ratatoskr. But the closer they attempt to get to him, the further away he gets, dancing off into the rainstorm, which of course chooses this moment to pick up.
    It's a problem.

    The rain slicks her hair to her face and armor -- unlike Clarissa, she has no umbrella to grant her respite.
    "I have, yes," Amaterasu answers Marivel, without looking back or breaking her stride. "Thank you for your role in reuniting the both of us."

    And in that moment she spots a likely-looking flatter boulder.
    Her armor glows.
    This, she hoists overhead without hesitation -- using the armor to brace her flesh -- as if to use it as a... very rocky portable shelter?

    "Ambrosius, to me. This should help." ...She says, still without breaking her stride. Carrying a rock.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool Shielding Module toward her party's challenge, Land Of Endless Rain.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - Land Of Endless Rain *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Lightning isn't the only hazard that falls from the sky in this place. The    
 rain is also an element to be endured.                                        
                                                                               
 This only becomes the more evident when the heavens truly open up upon you    
 now. It falls in sheets, relentlessly, apparently endlessly. There seems to   
 be little-to-no escape to be had from the deluge upon you. All you can do is  
 endure it and power through, or reshape the landscape in some form to ease    
 your passage.                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken===================================================
=============================================<* Thunder Plains - Round 2 *>=============================================
===========================================< Results - Land Of Endless Rain >===========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Derelict Relic                      2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marivel Armitage                    5 --(5)--> 10                  Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarissa Arwin                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Clarissa's Digging Kit              1   Brute   Effects: Strengthen and Fanfar
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Shielding Module                    1   Brute   Effects: Rally and Resilient  
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Injure(1)|Overzealous(1)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Ratatoskr has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Fanatic For Dodging *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 You meet all types out on the road.                                           
                                                                               
 Never has that been so clear as the scene you see before you now: a man       
 stands in the raging storm and as a bolt comes raging down, narrowly avoids   
 its strike. Another follows moments after; again he evades it. To what end    
 would someone willingly entertain dodging the bolts?                          
                                                                               
 He pauses upon noticing you watching. "Hey! You should try it too! C'mon! Or  
 are you too /scared/?" he taunts. His words are punctuated by a jab of a      
 pointer finger. "Show me your moves!"                                         
                                                                               
 It would seem that you are being dared to join in on this endeavor...         
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Exhaust============================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    "I thought so too... I thought so too!!" Ratatoskr calls above the squall, because no squall is ever loud enough to drown out this obnoxious embodiment of the folly of youth, all eighteen-to-twenty-four years of it. "Solais Emsu was found here...! So that means others could be too...!" This is true. The 'Metal Demons' of Mother made a play for that statue back over on Meribus. That is a reasonable enough foundation for the misunderstanding, but that is where the descriptor of 'reasonable' ends and calls it quits to go home and settle down, start a family with a lovely word named 'rhyme' and... where were we.
     At the part where Amaterasu hoists up a huge boulder as both shelter and an umbrella more worthy of the Veruni, allowing both herself and Ambrosius freedom from being bothered by the elements. Even if Ambrosius is the sort not to be too bothered by these specific elements. Some of the water washes off from the rock and threatens to splash upon Marivel--
     --but it is an umbrella of friendship by Clarissa that saves her the inconvenience, as they all keep pace with the squirrelly foe. A squirrelly foe who seems to see it fit to not 'desist,' but also continue to be a nuisance as the rain lightens up some.
     A young man laughs after a bolt of lightning crashes down in front of him that he deftly avoids, standing near a rainwater basin that is releasing steam clouds from recent strikes. The nearby lightning tower is well out of commission...
     "Hey!!" He calls to the gathered, though he gets a bit more intimidated in seeing Amaterasu holding a boulder. "...Uhhh... that's... how is that possible..."
     Lightning starts to strike again. It doesn't look good for that man, but then--
     --Ratatoskr tackles him in an instant, throwing them down to the ground. Did he just sav--
     "Noua Shax!! There you are...! Fight me!!" He yells to the elements, as the stunned and disoriented man has problems parsing what the hell is going on, who is that crazy tall boulder-hefting sort, what is this not-Ronso doing...
     Lightning starts to strike again, and Ratatoskr once more shoves the man aside.
     "Come onnnn!!" Ratatoskr yells, twitchy with anticipation. There's a few angles of attack here:
     - Save the guy from being pushed around by Ratatoskr by weaving in that chaos to help pull him out, or
     - Act fast to put an easily-attached doodad back on the lightning tower to fix it and put an end to this foolishness altogether, or
     - Race to shove Ratatoskr around too
     Either way, act fast.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Teleporter Fragment toward his party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Clarissa gasps at the sight of Amaterasu giving herself a rock umbrella. She blushes as she holds her much more modest one over Marivel. "I thought so too," she murmurs. "Maybe we'll learn something, and if nothing else we can keep him from accosting innocent travellers...."

Then Ratatoskr tackles a dude out of nowhere. Clarissa gasps. So much for stopping Ratatoskr from accosting the innocent.

"That isn't Noua Shax!" she shouts as she hands the umbrella off to Marivel and breaks into a sprint. She dashes forward, her boots splashing in puddles as she lunges, trying to find a dry place to brace her heels. She finds it, pushes off, launches herself --

And she attempts to tackle Ratatoskr at a full sprint. If she can collide with him, she'll wrap her arms around his waist and tumble as far as her momentum will carry her.

"Leave that guy alone!" she shouts whether or not she connects. "You don't have to prove anything! Just stop, please!"

DG: Clarissa Arwin has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"It's tough being seperated from your loved ones," Marivel agrees. "I'm glad you've made contact." Though considering Kaguya's schemes for the area maybe that isn't a great thing on an objective scale, but Marivel already had that chat with Kaguya and she is ill inclined to have it again. But she is glad on the more subjective scaling here. She doesn't explain it. Honestly thanks to combination of comically large boulder and umbrella, Marivel manages to avoid being drenched. She thanks Luceid for this one because she very desperately desired to not get sploshed with Thunder Plain Rain.

"Impressive." She murmurs at the young man with a death wish. But then he gets stymied by Amaterasu's giant boulder and is tackled by Ratatoskr.

"Hey! Heeeey...! Heeeey...."

She quickly takes a swig of her tomato juice(?) and advances forward.

"Wait your turn!" She tells Ratatoskr. "He was clearly here first. How would you like it if I skipped you and started fighting a Guardian?" Pause. "Well you'd probably want to join in, but you have to respect duel culture."

Is she just bullshitting?

(Yes)

DG: Marivel Armitage has used her Tool Tomato Juice For Grownups toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

While Ambrosius is fine enough in the rain, he can see the value of Amaterasu's suggestion. At her word he joins her under the rock - it'll be a serviceable shelter from both the rain and the lightning, after all.

Not everyone seems to accept this plan, however, as a nearby human seems to lose his nerve upon spotting the Veruni carrying a massive rock like it's an umbrella. Unfortunately for him, Ratatoskr is currently harrassing him.

Fortunately for him, Marivel and Clarissa are coming to his defense.

But, again unfortunately, Ambrosius does not particularly care about his plight.

"You should not be here. Leave." He states to the man as he passes him by. His eyes are on the lightning rod tower, rummaging through his bags for his tools. The damage does not seem too severe - it should hopefully be a quick and easy fix, and solve many of their problems at once.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    "Indeed," Amaterasu says, in response to Marivel. She does not glance back at Clarissa -- but perhaps the younger woman is doing well enough without the need for assistance besides.

    Very quickly -- as Amaterasu moves ahead, large rock and all -- there develops what is called in Veruni military terms A Situation.
    Well, quite technically, they use something more crude than that -- among the rank and file at least -- but the sentiment still stands.

    "Ambrosius. Can you reach the tower if I provide assistance?" she says, her attention on Ratatoskr.
    She does not, actually, wait for a response.

    Before she lets fly with the large boulder she's been carrying, a dangerous piece of missile weaponry if there was one.

    And then she's running for the tower.

    Running, apparently, up the side of the tower a distance where she there sticks, reaching back to give Ambrosius a much-needed hand up.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool All-Surface Boots toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Fanatic For Dodging *>=========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 You meet all types out on the road.                                           
                                                                               
 Never has that been so clear as the scene you see before you now: a man       
 stands in the raging storm and as a bolt comes raging down, narrowly avoids   
 its strike. Another follows moments after; again he evades it. To what end    
 would someone willingly entertain dodging the bolts?                          
                                                                               
 He pauses upon noticing you watching. "Hey! You should try it too! C'mon! Or  
 are you too /scared/?" he taunts. His words are punctuated by a jab of a      
 pointer finger. "Show me your moves!"                                         
                                                                               
 It would seem that you are being dared to join in on this endeavor...         
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Exhaust============================================
=============================================<* Thunder Plains - Round 3 *>=============================================
==========================================< Results - A Fanatic For Dodging >===========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Teleporter Fragment                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marivel Armitage                    10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Tomato Juice For Grownups           1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarissa Arwin                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
All-Surface Boots                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   40 --(20)--> 60                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Slow(2)|Weaken(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Ratatoskr has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Maze *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The gap between functional lightning towers can be considerable in places.    
 Take the situation ahead -- it's a long way between where you walk now and    
 where safer ground awaits ahead.                                              
                                                                               
 Worse, the lightning is striking the ground ahead quite frequently. However,  
 all is not lost -- the strikes are regular and appear to be following a       
 particular pattern. If you could tease out the shape of this storm's path,    
 it should be possible to work out a safe crossing without even the need to    
 race the storm.                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Overzealous====================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ambrosius doesn't have to tell the poor daredevil twice. Arguably, he doesn't even need to tell him the once. Gutsy as he is before lightning, it seems he draws the line at three huge, strange-looking Otherworlders, especially one carrying a boulder that big. He staggers, clutching his midsection, and runs away to... safety? Somewhere else.
     Arguably safer. Ambrosius won't be bothered as he goes to make the simple fix for the lightning tower, owing to his earlier observations of the monuments slash useful lightning redirection tools. He can just slap that piece of debris on the ground on there, that'll keep the actual rod stable and straight.
     Marivel tries to be the more responsible adult of the bunch as she lectures Ratatoskr about simple things almost everyone has learned in the educational equivalent of kindergarten. (Mother's subjugated Hyadeans didn't have kindergarten. They had knives taped to unhatched polyps in their very first death matches. Okay, not really. But they probably would have if anyone thought of it.)
     "Wait my turn? Wait my turn!" He shouts, incredulous, at Marivel as she rolls her best bluff. It's all the window Amaterasu needs to just hurl the boulder at Ratatoskr's eternally grimacing grin, and then there's another flash.
     A flash of a boulder exploding by a lightning bolt hitting it, which he parses as Noua Shax wanting to fight a rock instead rather than accept the actual miracle of physics and timing that has just happened, as much smaller shards of rock rain around him.
     "Come onnnn!!" Ratatoskr's fingers twitch, and then...
     Clarissa tackles him. She hugs him with all the strength she can muster, but it's a weird feeling as they're both sent diving into the basin. He has trouble parsing what's going on. That should be a submission hold of some kind, isn't it? Why does it feel so firm, yet so soft? He looks upon her with complete confusion in those dimming yellow eyes as she pleads for him to stop, that he doesn't need to do this.
     That somehow, beyond enemy lines, she truly does want to reach out to him and get him to stop this self-destructive path.
     "Why stop...?" He says as the two of them remain above water. "I like it..!"
     Drawing away from that drama for a little bit, as the Veruni collectively see to the lightning tower's restoration, they see there's a big stretch of land between this one and the next. Lightning continues to strike, but the more astute among them and Marivel, or even Clarissa (it's okay, they can all be astute, they are allstute to me and nobody will say otherwise) will see them strike again at the same place...
     ...in open air.
     A pattern, or a sign of something buried? Worthy of memorization, maybe investigation, but also important to use this to navigate some way out of here for whenever they're done having to deal with--
     "I like it exists..." Ratatoskr says through the sneer of a face that was never designed for anything resembling warmth of comfort, clawed hands grasping a fragment of a crystalline teleportation device of alien make. "...nothing like this was ever in the Photosphere... it challenges everything without care... I want to challenge it back...!"
     He disappears in a flash of light. Clarissa may or may not come with it. (If she doesn't, no big, it's not too hard to get out of the basin, the decline at the edge is easy to climb back up.)
     Naturally, Ratatoskr reappears and tries to run to all the spots with the lightning. He doesn't seem to catch onto the pattern. He withdraws an old Hyadean datapad, but lacks the attention span to add much to it in favor of chasing wherever he sees a bolt strike next.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Corrupted Records toward his party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Human and Hyadean tumble, and Clarissa locks her arms around Ratatoskr's waist.

She looks up at the Metal Demon with a wide-eyed appeal - but he rebuffs her in the most simple and naive way he can. "The people you're accosting don't like it, though," she points out, her voice quieting a little as she tries to explain things to him. "Think of how others feel. Most people don't like violence very much...!"

Then light flashes - and Clarissa gasps as her arms are suddenly vacated.

Bobbing out of the basin, the girl is left wet as she scrambles back to dry land, all too aware of the fact that she's vulnerable to the lightning like this. She pauses to give herself a vigorous shake, trying to shimmy off as much moisture as she can before looking out across the plains. "Where'd he go," she murmurs.

Oh, there he is - dancing through that suspiciously regular lightning. Clarissa bites gently down to her lower lip and draws her mother's journal, flipping through it.

    how to deal with a manic idiot
    - don't

Clarissa puffs out her cheeks petulantly and plants her hands at her hips. "Thanks, mom."

She tucks the notebook away and sighs, beginning to time out the lightning's pattern. "I think it's a bit more regular here," she calls out to Marivel and the Veruni.

DG: Clarissa Arwin has used her Tool Melissa's Notebook toward her party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Amaterasu does not wait for a response - but then, she doesn't need to. He trusts her to do what needs to be done. He makes his way toward the tower, and as soon he reaches it there she is to give him a hand up.

He gives the tower a few quick repairs, but also uses the silvery multitool to take a quick reading of the atmosphere.

"...The lightning is striking in a consistent and predictable pattern in this area. I can read it." He notes, looking down toward his fellow Veruni operative.

He descends in enough time to spot Ratatoskr disappearing in a flash of light, eliciting something of a glower from Ambrosius. Dealing with Ratatoskr was stress enough on his nerves. Not knowing where he was and what he might be messing with was even moreso. It might be best to continue pursuit.

He moves forward, using the multitool to read the atmosphere and help maneuver around places where the lightning is likely to strike next.

"...An astute observation." He notes, with a glance to the side toward Clarissa. He's being sincere in his compliment.

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Advanced Multi-Tool toward his party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Technically," Marivel points out to Ambrosius. "We have no right to tell him where he can and can't be it's not our world." She is just being a pedant though because the guy is being really dumb here. Dumb enough to dodge lightning not dumb enough to face down Amaterasu. Still she's not wrong at who the trespassers here are.

She draws out her book and says out loud with no shame, "Let us see what the clever and wise Marivel Armitage tells us about how to dodge lightning."

She flips a few pages.

"Go where the lightning isn't striking." Marivel snaps the book closed. "Yes, I think that should do it. Luckily, with such a predictable pattern, it shall be easy! You are correct Clarissa!"

She nudges Clarissa forward to encourage her to go first. She'll be right behind.

Honest.

DG: Marivel Armitage has used her Tool Wisdom of the Crimson Nobles by M. Armitage toward her party's challenge,
Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Her boulder is shattered by a bolt, but Amaterasu doesn't so much as glance backwards as the explosion roars. One does not attain her position and reputation by being distracted easily; she surges on ahead. If it is something dangerous, she will handle it as it comes.

    Ascending the tower a distance -- propping herself up with one arm digging into a bit of metalwork, she hefts Ambrosis upwards, one-handed, to get him to where he needs to be.
    The tower doesn't need serious work put into it but all the same she informs him: "Good work."
    Before leaping down.
    She works a backflip into this, somehow.

    Whereupon the hazard before them becomes clear:

    The lightning, striking in a particular pattern that defies simply rushing through. Amaterasu stops up short and looks at Ambrosius.

    "Indeed. I will leave this to you," she says. "Tell me where to go."

DG: Amaterasu has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
============================================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Maze *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The gap between functional lightning towers can be considerable in places.    
 Take the situation ahead -- it's a long way between where you walk now and    
 where safer ground awaits ahead.                                              
                                                                               
 Worse, the lightning is striking the ground ahead quite frequently. However,  
 all is not lost -- the strikes are regular and appear to be following a       
 particular pattern. If you could tease out the shape of this storm's path,    
 it should be possible to work out a safe crossing without even the need to    
 race the storm.                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Overzealous====================================
=============================================<* Thunder Plains - Round 4 *>=============================================
==============================================< Results - Lightning Maze >==============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Advanced Multi-Tool                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Corrupted Records                   2   Wits    Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marivel Armitage                    10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Wisdom of the Crimson Nobles by M.  3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarissa Arwin                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Melissa's Notebook                  2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   60 --(20)--> 80                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(2)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Ratatoskr has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
===========================================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Dancer *>===========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond  
 that, Macalania Forest.                                                       
                                                                               
 But the storm is not yet finished with you. Before you can cross the          
 distance, a flurry of bolts rain from the heavens. There is no time to        
 think, only to act, lest you be struck.                                       
                                                                               
 You must get through.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Bad Luck===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    The lot of them manage to overcome this with the most advanced, even erudite, of mental disciplines across any and all intelligent races between these worlds and those beyond its skies, one and all, without fail. Together, they make it through this patch with the powers of...
 
     PATTERRRRRN...
 
          ...RECOGNIIIITIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ah!!
 
               *golf clap*
 
                    (by thunder, which does not play golf)
 
     Except for Ratatoskr, who technically fails because he chases after where the bolt goes last, unaware or just too riled up to think that if he'd just wait for like four lightning strikes, he'd encounter one personally, all to himself.
     Thunder rolls again. This is nothing new, it's always rolling here, but this time the boom gets louder, closer... oh, that's not thunder, per se. That's one hell of a heavy footfall, and then another. It's sort of like thunder, as a great armored Fiend starts coming down their way as they all safely cross and/or fail to recognize the pattern but nonetheless let their misunderstanding see them run in circles safely.
     It carries a huge sword. A sword so huge that Amaterasu might have to hold it in two hands were it to come into her reach, but this Fiend isn't letting it escape its grasp as it approaches...
     ...and Ratatoskr is in front of it already. Of course he is.
     "Why won't it come fight? Why won't it come fight!" Ratatoskr says, tail swishing about in agitation, saying this in front of a Fiend that totally does. It's raising its sword and coming down on it, and everything. Ratatoskr leaps on that cleaver, yelling up to the heavens.
     "Fight me--!! Noua Shax, Guardian of Lightni--"
     The Fiend hefts the blade up, launching Ratatoskr into the sky. Lightning strikes at the highest object in the air, which is now him. The light disperses about the point of impact with a deafening crack, and there is a blackened streak trailing smoke flitting through the air away.
     ...That might be the best outcome.
     For everyone else, there is a clear shot to sunlight ahead. The edge of the storm. There's no need to personally address the large Fiend - it isn't in their way. It might be better for them to just keep going, to get out as the storm intensifies anew.
     A bolt of lightning crashes down, free of the pattern established, as though Ratatoskr's positioning just threw its pattern completely off center.
     Hurry!

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Teleporter Fragment toward his party's challenge, Lightning Dancer.
<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Clarissa squeaks a bit when Marivel nudges her. "I'll try," she says before beginning to prance through the lightning.

It comes entirely too close for comfort - but she somehow makes it. Lightning flashes around her, leaving spots dancing in front of her eyes, and she blinks and tries to clear it away.

"is that a Fiend on the horizon?" she asks, then. She shakes her head. "No, I must be seeing things--"

Clarissa pauses, then straightens. "Nope. That's a Fiend, alright," she says, blinking away spots again.

And oh look, there's Ratatoskr. Clarissa widens her eyes and darts forward - "You're going to be killed, don't do it!" she calls out.

Lightning strikes. Ratatoskr goes flying. Clarissa stares with abject horror. Ratatoskr may be a member of Odessa, but no one deserves to be launched and roasted like that.

Lightning hits the ground near her. With a yelp, Clarissa jerks out of her shock and bolts back towards Marivel and the Veruni. "Let's get out of here," she calls over the squeal of atmospheric energy, scrambling over a large rock as she tries to get herself into the clear before another lightning bolt can come down and roast her too.

She's got a Fiend at her back and inclement weather overhead. This isn't how she thought her day would go.

DG: Clarissa Arwin has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Lightning Dancer.
<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Ah, Macalania." Marivel says taking a swig of something that now that Ratatoskr is blasting off again is pretty clearly blood and not tomato juice

She starts running as well. She could cheese it, of course, but it's way less resource intensive to just book it herself provided she avoids getting electrocuted by lightning.

But why then did she take that drink?? What was she planning???

Wait no--

--her legs...

They're moving so quickly they look like little cartoon swirly motions! That's probably your imagination. And what's a cartoon?

Regardless, the power of DASH improves speed considerably. That's a fact.

DG: Marivel Armitage has used her Tool Tomato Juice For Grownups toward her party's challenge, Lightning Dancer.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

"He is welcome to remain, should he desire to continue to engage in foolish behavior. But he cannot say he was not warned." Ambrosius replies to Marivel. He doesn't seem to realise she was just being pedantic.

Regardless of that, he leads the way through the lightning storm. The pattern is easy enough to follow - partway through, he even finds that he doesn't need the multitool to follow it.

Soon enough, however, a new danger reveals its - one of the massive, armored, sword-bearing Fiends that stalk the Thunder Plains.

A frown crosses he face.

They could fight it...but there is a moment of distraction, as it takes the time to eject Ratatoskr from the area.

"We have already obtained enough data on this one. It may be best to leave it be." Ambrosius asides quietly to Amaterasu. The data she and Kaguya had provided, plus that from his own encounter, was more than enough.

And indeed, Clarissa and Marivel seem to be moving past it as well. It may be for the best.

Ambrosius attempts to bypass the Iron Giant entirely...though if it attempts to attack him even so, he will give it no mercy.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Lightning Dancer.
<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    With Ambrosius' information, she's able to perfectly navigate the hazard before them, stopping but a moment to regard their wayward target, still ahead.

    "Metal Demon!" Amaterasu calls out, perhaps reaching the end of some metaphorical rope. "The Guardians have little sway in this land! 'Noua Shax' cannot hear you! Your quest is vain!"

    It's likely such a statement will roll off Ratatoskr like, well. Water off a duck?
R
    It's another of those Fiends. She had drawn out the battle before, thus ending with a situation where they had been forced to withdraw -- for the sake of not killing it together with her sister, they had fought neither wisely nor well -- and for a moment Amaterasu considers engaging it directly and forgoing their current target in the form of Ratatoskr.

    Until Ambrosius says that no further data are needed from this sort of Fiend.

    And more pressingly, until thunder rolls a twenty, so to speak.

    "...Ambrosius. We should move quickly," she says, her eyes narrowing as the storm upends its fury upon them. A flash of light and a crack close at hand only serve to underline her statement--

    Though, Amaterasu is nowhere nearby now.

    She moves with precision -- leaping from outcropping to outcropping, stepping between each raining bolt as the heavens come down. She pays the Iron Giant little heed, her focus again indefatigable.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool All-Surface Boots toward her party's challenge, Lightning Dancer.
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
===========================================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Dancer *>===========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond  
 that, Macalania Forest.                                                       
                                                                               
 But the storm is not yet finished with you. Before you can cross the          
 distance, a flurry of bolts rain from the heavens. There is no time to        
 think, only to act, lest you be struck.                                       
                                                                               
 You must get through.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Bad Luck===========================================
=============================================<* Thunder Plains - Round 5 *>=============================================
=============================================< Results - Lightning Dancer >=============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Teleporter Fragment                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marivel Armitage                    10 --(0)--> 10                 Fail
Tomato Juice For Grownups           1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarissa Arwin                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
All-Surface Boots                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   80 --(35)--> 115               Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Overzealous(1)|Reckless(1)|Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has successfully explored Thunder Plains!
==================================================<* Thunder Plains *>==================================================
==========================================<* CHALLENGE - Tinkerer's Choice *>===========================================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The outskirts of the Thunder Plains are reached; sunlight breaks through the  
 edges of the storm's clouds. You can see in the distance the outermost        
 reaches of Macalania Forest. The worst of the trek through is now complete.   
                                                                               
 And as the light scatters through the dark clouds, it catches on a bit of     
 metal. A large bit of metal, as the case may be. This is a particularly       
 well-preserved piece of Al Bhed Machina. This one had been without question   
 a smaller automaton of some sort, though it's missing several                 
 important-for-function sections. Perhaps being left here near the edges of    
 the storm saved it from being ruined by rain and lightning.                   
                                                                               
 While it's too fractured to be used for whatever its original purpose might   
 have been, it's otherwise perfectly salvageable, whether one intends to       
 strip it for its near-pristine components or repurpose it as it is for a new  
 project.                                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    The further out to the edge they go, the more intense it gets - as if the storm has a mind of its own (it does not) and wants to keep its present playmates (this storm has no concept of 'play' or 'friends,' it is a mere atmospheric aberration unique to this part of creation). It gets hair-raisingly scary a few times.
     Lightning crashes in front of Marivel, and it is extremely rude. Maybe the rumbling in its wake is its way of apologizing for even thinking of marring a Crimson Noble. (Or not.)
     Ambrosius might actually be struck by lightning, but he has always been implacable and uncaring about this sort of thing.
     The others have their own small close calls here and there, but soon, they break out into sunlight - to the outermost reaches of Macalania Forest.
     Marivel might need to take a moment to borrow an umbrella or other such concealing means to stop the sun's rays from 'tsking' at her for being up way past her bedtime, but Clarissa and Amaterasu both at the same time see light reflecting off of a husk of metal that has been partially buried by the passing years... some Al Bhed machina.
     Some Al Bhed machina? No, no, no. This is remarkably well-preserved! Some sort of automaton of a simple purpose who, on closer inspection, has had a few important pieces removed so it can no longer function on its own power. It might be that it was poached for parts and tossed aside many years ago in desperation and a hurry for something specific, for there's plenty enough there intact for other studies or purposes.
     It's a fascinating study piece! It is also terrible heresy to some law of the land none of them are really beholden to, but it is quite the find.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

The lightning passes behind them. The rain slackens. A wet, tired Clarissa Arwin inhales with relief, then doubles and plants her hands on her thighs as she just breathes for a moment.

When she looks up, it's just in time to spot something gleaming not too far away. With a gasp, Clarissa bolts forward, picking up the pick from her waist and beginning to dig a little to free what's under there.

"Machina," she breathes, her eyes growing wide.

Immediately, Clarissa glances around, as if briefly alarmed at the prospect of some Yevonite catching her in the act of doing a heresy. Fortunately it's just them and their friends - if she can indeed call Amaterasu and her ^Long Voweler^ friends. The blonde Drifter chips away a bit more earth from around the chunk of Machina before leaning in to check the device out.

"It's too damaged to be restored completely," she murmurs. "And I wouldn't know where to start, but I think parts can be salvaged, Marivel...."

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius is struck by lightning as he makes his way through. It's painful, certainly, but it isn't the worst thing he's been through. His Veruni equipment is well-ground and he doesn't suffer any long-lasting negative effects - just some lingering pain and having to take a second to get himself back under control.

But, as they finally draw near to the edge of the forest, they make an amazing find.

"Indeed." He replies, glancing toward Clarissa. He approaches it and kneels down, investigating it carefully.

"...I believe it can be repurposed." He comments. "The most important parts are intact. As for the rest, replacements can be found elsewhere."

He's a mechanic, after all - this was the sort of thing he did for a living. He was not as of yet familiar with the machina of Spira, but they were not outside of his ability to work with.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Amaterasu passes out of the storm unscathed, her high-heeled boots ringing out against the dry rock below once they skip the edge of the storm and approach near to the outskirts of the forest.

    "Kaguya said that the forest was of some import to the Summoners," she comments, one hand on her hip as she scans the horizon.

    (She is looking for Ratatoskr, mainly, but suspects that he has given them the slip, so to speak.)

    Only at a remove does she consider the machinery.

    "See what you can make of it, Ambrosius. Kaguya may also wish to see it," she states, waving a hand as if to thereby wave the matter away.