2019-06-08: We Got This!! ...We Don't Got This!

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  • Log: 2019-06-08: We Got This!! ...We Don't Got This!
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Ivan
  • Where: Macalania
  • Date: June 08, 2019
  • Summary: Ivan and Lydia commence their second treasure hunting venture, this time in the Thunder Plains. Things turn out rather differently than they envisioned.

================================<* Macalania *>=================================

The Macalania region is home to two ancient, crystalline formations of unsurpassed mystery and beauty. The first is the Macalania Woods - a shining maze-like forest overseen by strange, ancient, birdlike Beastmen who speak in bizarre riddles and weave light like silk. The second is Lake Macalania - an eternally frozen lake surrounded by snowy crevasses, which one can just see the frozen Temple beneath. Macalania is a distant, remote region -- and full of its own dangers.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jz644GeAdE
DG: You need to be in a party to load Tools.
DG: A party led by Lydia Seren 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 Everstorm *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |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.                                         
                                                                               
 Following the towers provides the safer -- though by no means risk-free --    
 route through this land, but not all the towers are completely functional     
 anymore. Some are more reliable than others, but while hearsay and rumor may  
 suggest this or that path, they're no replacement for evaluating a route for  
 oneself. Which way will you head?                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Exhaust========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

LAST TIME ON GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S DREAM CHASERS

LYDIA: Let's explore the Thunder Plains next!
IVAN: Didn't we do that already when you kicked a cake in my face?
LYDIA: *twirling an imaginary mustache* Diiiiid we?
IVAN: Why

Naturally after a Gilligan Cut from that Kaguyadventure, Ivan and Lydia find themselves in the Thunder Plains! It is about as unhospitable this time as it was last time, in fact, but Lydia hasn't given up on finding something incredible here. With all the DEATH LIGHTNING there has to be right? RIGHT?? And at the very least for Ivan's sake, the possibility of being flushed down a giant refuse pit is pretty much nil here. Now you might just get zapped to ash! You'd probably hardly feel it!

"I figure so long as we don't run into a boss monster we'll be okay. Though I guess if we did, you already proved you could handle cacti so it should be fine. I doubt there's anything here more dangerous than that thing."

She is also a little leery of needles though not to the point of it being a phobia or anything. She rubs at her eyes reflexively with her wrist as if she had dust in it. It's not the kinds of needles that Cactaur tend to shoot either.

Rather than immediately get a-running, Lydia points out the nearest tower and jogs towards it. "This one still works!" She calls over to Ivan. "But from here on out, we might have to take risks... because if we just go the safe route we're not gonna find anything that hasn't already been found right??"

Schrodinger the Cat, while lazily described before, is a black cat that seems to either exist, or not exist, or exist in multiple places simultaneously. Right now Lydia has a Schrodinger on her head and it is gesturing with a paw pointing the way.

Or maybe it's trying to get a treat.

Or maybe it's trying to scramble away from Lydia who suggested they all go visit the Thunder Plains!!

Regardless, Lydia seems to put faith in this sort of nonsense. "I'm feeling confident!" She adds.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, The Everstorm.
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan can sort of agree with the logic that an inhospitable place like the Thunder Plains could have some treasure nobody snapped up yet. His attitude about visiting it is almost a 180 from the sunken temple -- 'Meh, we've got this, it will be easy' -- perhaps he's overconfident because he survived his last visit? Or perhaps more likely, the watery temple was simply an odd exception from his rather unrealistic bluster.

In reality, they'd do well to be careful. The journey before kept closely to the safest routes. Now, all bets are off. But Ivan seems to enjoy that, when the stakes don't involve drowning. Adventure!

"Yeah! We don't need the safe path. How hard can it be to dodge a lightning bolt? We'll do great with this!"

Ivan has been meaning to ask Lydia whether or not she has a cat... no matter how many times he sees the cat, he remains somehow uncertain. He surveys the path, watching where the bolts strike, and deciding based on their pattern where he most intuitively believes they won't strike next.

"I think this way is safe!" he calls.

Ivan! Science doesn't work like that.

DG: Ivan has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Everstorm.
=============================<* Thunder Plains *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - The Everstorm *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |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.                                         
                                                                               
 Following the towers provides the safer -- though by no means risk-free --    
 route through this land, but not all the towers are completely functional     
 anymore. Some are more reliable than others, but while hearsay and rumor may  
 suggest this or that path, they're no replacement for evaluating a route for  
 oneself. Which way will you head?                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Exhaust========================================
========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 1 *>========================
=========================< Results - The Everstorm >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren has like 8 digger points unspent too! Those points could be used for anything! Like not failing challenges as bad!

It is possible that the Thunder Plains will be easier for 'guy who can't drown and girl who can't swim' than an underwater death trap but even so it isn't exactly intuitive right?

"Yeah! Lightning is slow as fuck!" Lydia agrees enthusiastically which might be indicative of the two maybe not thinking this through as much as they ought to. The two head on their path! Or rather off the beaten path. They get some distance away past a broken tower when suddenly lightning comes crashing down for the two of them!

Ivan, who was the first to say dodging lightning is easy, naturally gets struck full on by a lightning blast! Luckily it's like Thunder 1 levels of pain not Real Life Electrocuted By God levels of pain and injury!

Lydia herself hops to the side, deftly avoiding the electrical blast aimed for her, only to look towards Ivan. "Yeah you were right! This is easy!"

Pause. "Oh uh. I think there's cover over there while we plan our next move?"

She grimaces faintly and with silvered cheeks raises up her shoulders awkwardly.

Woops, she thinks.

DG: Ivan has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - So Close Yet So Far *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Many of the towers are not in good shape. Some of them don't even function    
 properly anymore. This creates longer, more dangerous stretches between what  
 passes as safe areas within the Thunder Plains.                               
                                                                               
 This gap before you now is one such problem area. Of course, if you were to   
 run the distance between, perhaps the risk might be minimized. What's more,   
 as the rain eases off into a 'lighter' phase, you can see in the distance     
 something glinting.                                                           
                                                                               
 Best to push on ahead, before you lose sight of that, too, once the rain      
 inevitably picks up again.                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Secret=============================================
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan's path... wasn't quite so safe as he hoped. Should have followed the cat, maybe...? Lightning strikes him, and his muscles sieze up as it uses him as a conduit to make its way to the ground. But then it passes, and though his nerves are jangling, he isn't a pile of ash! Y-yeah! He knew that would be survivable!

"I didn't... even feel that!" Ivan assures Lydia, though there is a bit of smoke still rising off his body. He's fine! Probably.

They huddle under an outcropping to plan their next move... ... and, after careful consideration, the plan they settle on is: "Let's just do that again! It's not like we died!"

So they eye the next stretch of unprotected land, and the distant beckoning glimmer, and try to determine the fastest way across it. Ivan eyes one of the broken lightning rods along the way -- it's not going to protect them from any lightning, but it could still be useful. He runs forward, summons his whip, and snakes it up to catch on the lightning rod, and then tries to swing forward so he flies part of the way across. His plan for a landing involves an acrobatic roll so he won't lose all the momentum he gained.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Whip toward his party's challenge, So Close Yet So Far.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

The cat knows.... Maybe cats have an innate understanding of where lightning is going to crash. or maybe that's just cats. Maybe that's why they call it Catic Electricity??

"You're...Ivan. You're still a little..." She points to the smoke rising off his body, a bit sheepish (don't call her a lamb though she takes offense to that. Or a Lamb for that matter).

Now if Lydia were in her right mind she'd probably think Ivan is just acting tough but her mind has distinctively been in pretty strange territory lately so of course she just figures he is a pretty tough guy.

And well, she has to think he's fast right? Otherwiise she has to blame HERSELF for constantly missing! Or worse, her player who hasn't even started an upgrade app!

"It's true! We didn't die!" Lydia agrees. She pops open her skates (which, notably, pop out from under her feet rather than anything but well Lydia has to try harder to weird people out now that Kamui is wandering about) and her eyes widen as Ivan WHIPS himself across.

"That's pretty sweet." She admits quietly because honestly she isn't sure she'd have the guts to SKATE across that death trap. Nevertheless, she skates forward to try and catch up to Ivan, letting her wheels catch up speed as she hops into the air periodically to dodge lightning strikes. They don't call her The Lightspeed for nothin'!

(Nobody calls her that)

((Not even Lydia outside of her head))

Maybe the streak will continue and nobody will continue to die.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, So Close Yet So Far.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - So Close Yet So Far *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Many of the towers are not in good shape. Some of them don't even function    
 properly anymore. This creates longer, more dangerous stretches between what  
 passes as safe areas within the Thunder Plains.                               
                                                                               
 This gap before you now is one such problem area. Of course, if you were to   
 run the distance between, perhaps the risk might be minimized. What's more,   
 as the rain eases off into a 'lighter' phase, you can see in the distance     
 something glinting.                                                           
                                                                               
 Best to push on ahead, before you lose sight of that, too, once the rain      
 inevitably picks up again.                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Secret=============================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 2 *>=========================
=======================< Results - So Close Yet So Far >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
Whip                                2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Reckless(1)|Secret(2)|Slow(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan and Lydia ... OUTRUN THE LIGHTNING!!! Or maybe it just happens to strike dramatically just behind them a few times. The world will never know. Still, as they roll up to the safety of another overhang (Ivan is rolling, at least briefly; Lydia is on wheels), there is room for some savoring of the victory.

"You heard it trying to catch up to us! It didn't have a chance!" Ivan gloats. There's no shame in gloating at nature. Tempting of fate, maybe, but shame, nah.

DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Thunder Plains *>=============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - Broken Al Bhed Machina *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Once -- probably not terribly recently, though it's difficult to determine    
 precisely when -- the Al Bhed ventured into these lands.                      
                                                                               
 You can tell that because there is an Al Bhed Machina lying here, corroded,   
 broken, and yet with much of its bulk intact. Perhaps there might still be    
 some basic non-perishable supplies inside, something that has survived the    
 unknown span of the years.                                                    
                                                                               
 But first you'll have to break it open.                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Treasure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Lightspeed" Lydia says dramatically too becacuse Ivan is actually being kind of chuuni here too so that allows Lydia to indulge her own dark nature free from judgement or, more accurately, shame. She can't stop the judging.

"Haha!" She points out to the distance. "You got served, force of nature!"

Lightning crashes nearby and Lydia jumps a bit before exhaling faintly. "W-well we can't rest on our laurels! I'm glad you're having fun though--" Are Ivans allowed to have Fun??

Well more to the point, it seems the two have stumbled upon some machina while chasing the shiny out outrunning the lightning.

"Oh shit." She says. "There sure is a lot of Al Bhed junk out here. We might as well salvage what we can while we're here."

Her hand transforms into a sword at first then Lydia frowns and her hand remorphs into a saw blade as she gets to work hacking away at the Al Bhed structure, periodically giving up with the saw and just drawing out a bat and smashing it repeatedly as the Guardians intended.

"It'll be easier if you start smashing at it too!" She suggests to Ivan.

Because apparently Lydia is already deaf. That might explain a few things right?

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Broken Al Bhed Machina.
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

The concerned and suddenly defensive look on Ivan's face when Lydia suggests he is having fun possibly tells Lydia all she needs to know about whether Ivans are allowed to have fun. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted?

Meanwhile, they have come upon a haul of... some old machina! Possibly with valuable... weird machina parts inside! Parts that are ALL THEIRS now because no one else wanted to be here because they would get struck by lightning! All right!

Ivan summons his warhammer, but pauses as he watches Lydia straight up transform her hand into a saw.

"...Can you change your hands into any shape you want?" he asks, in between the banging noises as they both start beating the crap out of some poor old machina.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Warhammer toward his party's challenge, Broken Al Bhed Machina.
=============================<* Thunder Plains *>=============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - Broken Al Bhed Machina *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Once -- probably not terribly recently, though it's difficult to determine    
 precisely when -- the Al Bhed ventured into these lands.                      
                                                                               
 You can tell that because there is an Al Bhed Machina lying here, corroded,   
 broken, and yet with much of its bulk intact. Perhaps there might still be    
 some basic non-perishable supplies inside, something that has survived the    
 unknown span of the years.                                                    
                                                                               
 But first you'll have to break it open.                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Treasure=========================================
========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 3 *>========================
=====================< Results - Broken Al Bhed Machina >=====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
Warhammer                           3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 40 --(35)--> 75                Pass
Conditions: Secret(1)|Slow(1)|Treasure(1)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has passed this challenge! The party gained 35 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh! Uh! I mean! Nevermind!" Lydia stammers in panic. Gah! Why did she say that?? Well, it's okay, Lydia. You're doing your best. Your best might be slightly worse than someone else's average but it's still your best and that should count for something. Maybe it can count for slightly less than someone else's average.

Regardless, Lydia is so worried about possibly ruining Ivan's fun halfway through the adventure that her cheeks silver and she kind of doesn't get as much work done as you might think. In fact, when Ivan says 'can your hands become anything they want?' Lydia's buzzsaw hand whirrs awkwardly against the rubble and distends awkwardly as if it were broken.

Lydia pulls her hand back and reforms her hand into a hand shape. Unfortunately it's kind of...aimed in the wrong direction. Grimacing, Lydia pulls it back into the right position and---after a moment of exhaling, seems to be good!

"Uh, I don't know. I am a little nervous about trying stuff since I saw the girl who became liquid. I'm worried I'll go liquid and not be able to get back to normal. Though uh, I think my skeleton usually stays the same? Maybe you should ask Kr--"

She cuts herself off, cheeks silvering again. "Ghhhh..." She sounds frustrate though the frustration seems directed inward rather than at Ivan.

Ivan is able to rip open a nice section that allows Lydia to draw out some potions, ethers, and assorted mechanical parts for laterr. Standing up she adds, "Think we're good to move on. Doubt the Al Bhed are gonna come back for this hunka junk."

She pauses and then adds, "Sorry." as she starts moving on ahead, quickening her pace.

DG: Ivan has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Iron Giant *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond  
 that, Macalania Forest.                                                       
                                                                               
 A low bellow stops you in your tracks. From the haze of the storm emerges a   
 huge armored Fiend bearing a heavy iron sword. An Iron Giant, one of the      
 more fearsome creatures of the Thunder Plains.                                
                                                                               
 It is intent on your destruction. Do not allow it.                            
                                                                                                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

At least the work of smashing seems to distract Ivan from whether or not he's having fun from a while. As they smash, Lydia answers his question about shape-changing and shares her reservations about turning into goo.

"I think you mentioned the liquid thing around when we met. I thought for a while" BANG "that you might have some sort of terrible disease where you were liquefying" BANG "I mean, just worrying about liquefying seems pretty" BANG "bad, too. At least if it were a progression you wouldn't be in suspense. But if it's not a progression then maybe it won't happen at all...oh!"

The machina he's smashing pops open, and Lydia comes over to help look for cool stuff. This is a good idea since he has absolutely no idea what he's looking at in there.

"Were there any warning signs before your friend liquefied? Did she ever manage turn back?"

Maybe this is not a comfortable topic but whoops too late. There are actually a lot of things Ivan is wondering about how Lydia works, but he's trying to mete out questions slowly since they seem to make her sad and maybe it's best to kind of dilute that.

The two of them pocket or otherwise stow the spoils of their machina destruction and move along, with Lydia apologizing and zipping forward. "What are you sorry about?"

A shadow falls over them, which is saying something in the dimness of the Thunder Plains. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say they feel an aura of battle overtake them. A rumbling bellow comes from behind them, and as they turn, a huge, hulking Iron Giant looms above them. It stomps forward, swinging a huge sword that looks as likely to crush or bisect them as to cut them. Ivan boggles upward at it for a moment.

"...Ah, these are the things Talia was talking about... All right, he's not so bad... I've got this, I've got this...! Keep it as busy as you can and cover me, all right?" Ivan nods to Lydia rushes forward, using his whip to aid him as he tries to rush inside the fiend's reach and climb up to its shoulder so he can slide a blade into a gap in the armor. Presuming there is anything inside that armor.

.......that's......actually..... also one of his questions about Lydia.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Memory toward his party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

FINALLY ANSWERS ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS LIQUIFYING GIRL?? To be honest, Lydia doesn't know much about Emeralda eitherr but she does know, instinctively even, that there's some similar tech within the two of them. Just, like, she is made for it and Lydia? Lydia was kinda juryrigged together. That's how she sees it. It honestly kind of stresses her out a lot too because the worst thing about beingn a science experiment is being a science experiment that wasn't even useful and got outmoded by some other machine that existed for a billion or something years anyway. Lydia is as upset by the gross unneccessariness of it as she is the fundamental violation of her humanity.

"She did manage to turn back. She did it like she was going for a stroll and just like went back to normal like vwoop." Lydia explains. "But yeah... I might be worrying over nothin'. You got a point there!"

Honestly she appreciates Ivan's curiousity here. The way he's phrasing it kind of makes her think he would make a good engineer if he hadn't been used as an assassin instead.

Actually that's another thing Lydia just doesn't get about their whole situation. Why have kids and make them assassins? There are plenty of good assassins you can hire! How often do you expect to do a murder anyway?? Sure, the one time cost of a murder might be pretty expensive but--come on! Raising twins is way more expensive especially since you need to teach them how to do the murdering too. And they might not even be good at it! It's quite the gamble.

In this too Lydia is offended by the vague unneccessariness of it all as she is the gross inhumanity of doing such a thing.

Lydia is about to answer Ivan (spoiling the mood) when giant armor of death! A giant Iron armor of death!

"I have a lot of questions," Lydia says, distracted from such talk for pretty reasonable reasons. "About how this works in the thunder plains." She approaches forward channeling a summon and--

--yeah the blade slams into her and sends her spinning hella far away and crashing into a lightnimng tower which promptly gives her an electric shock.

Lydia tumbles forward and flops to the ground, smoking.

"Oww...."

Abandoning her summon, she at leaast delves to cast a stealth spell over Ivan that renders him essentially invisible. Do...Iron Giants need to see their prey?

Let's find out!

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Iron Giant *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond  
 that, Macalania Forest.                                                       
                                                                               
 A low bellow stops you in your tracks. From the haze of the storm emerges a   
 huge armored Fiend bearing a heavy iron sword. An Iron Giant, one of the      
 more fearsome creatures of the Thunder Plains.                                
                                                                               
 It is intent on your destruction. Do not allow it.                            
                                                                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 4 *>=========================
==========================< Results - The Iron Giant >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         5 --(100)--> 105               Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                15 --(100)--> 115              Pass
Memory                              3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 75 --(5)--> 80                 Fail
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Weaken(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: 
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: Lydia Seren is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Ivan is too exhausted to continue!
DG: The party has failed this challenge! All party members are now Exhausted. This attempt is over.
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has been fully Exhausted by Thunder Plains!
DG: The party will now draw a conclusion.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Stormed Out *>==========================
|Type: Escape      |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 It's simply too much. As the storm picks up, the countless bolts through the  
 driving rain become too numerous. Too close. You're forced to make a          
 grueling retreat, using the waypoints you have already established.           
                                                                               
 But your retreat does not come without a certain insight:                     
                                                                               
 As you depart, a flash illuminates the sky the moment you glance back at the  
 expanse of the plains. You can see where the non-functional towers are        
 broken clearly. The damage doesn't seem terrible. Perhaps if someone were to  
 come in here with enough people and enough equipment, with enough time they   
 might be repaired and ease the passage.                                       
                                                                               
 But as long as Sin plagues this land, such a work may be but a fading dream.  
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Secret==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Well, Lydia DID distract it but not in the way Ivan was envisioning, as it swats her across the battlefield and into a fully charged lightning rod. Ivan's eyes widen as he watches this unfold. He calls after her, "Are you alive?!"

Meanwhile, he stabs while the stabbing is good, but his human-scaled blade isn't nearly enough to give the hulking creature a deathblow in one shot, AND it effectively gives away his position.

It finds him with his free hand, lifting him up and chucking him across the battlefield in the same general direction as Lydia's flight. WHUMPH.

"No problem!! Round two!!" Ivan shouts hoarsely, after he has confirmed Lydia is alive but before he has inventoried his injuries or even successfully hauled himself out of the dust. When he does make it to his feet, though, the Iron Giant has been obscured again by the storm and the two of them are... ... not really in any shape to be fighting it again if anyone decides to be reasonable. (Which Ivan rarely is about this sort of thing).

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia has a large horizontal indent in her body that is taking its sweet time to pop back into place.

"Come back and fight us!" Lydia shouts while being on the floor unmoving. "We can still fight!" From the floor, apparently. "A real fiend would've come finished us off!" She adds in her own attempt to taunt it.

Well it seems Iron Giants are a bit more difficult to fight than soft squishy cacti.

That's okay. It's okay. It's fine.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Good idea," Ivan says, because he's ignoring complaints from various bones and joints and he's not sure what would happen if he tried to run after the creature right now and it might be embarassing. "Come back and fight us!! ...Lydia, you should be upright when it comes back to fight us, here, are you -- whoa" That was him seeing the indent.

"Is that... is that okay?" Is this the moment? Does he dare ask? It's now or never, isn't it?! "...do you have any organs that got squished?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia scootches up a bit to rest her back against a boulder as she looks down at the wound. She lifts her shirt up a bit to get a better look at it (Lydia reconfigured her exterior to resemble armoring rather than skin so this doesn't really mean much in that department). Where the blade struck and a bit around that area the coloring of the 'armor' has faded into a non-descript liquid silver. "It's just how it usually is it's no big--"

Ivan asks if she has organs that get squished. That's the sort of question that Lydia tries not to think about. Lydia touches the indentation with her index finger. Ivan can see two ripples across both finger and gut, like two surfaces of water poking each other.

Lydia stares at herself as she presses a little harder. Her hand starts to sink in--

--no it's more like her hand is being drawn in. Lydia's eyes widen as her fingers vanish into the 'pool' and then the rest of her hand, the coloring again fading to that silverish tint.

Lydia's expression is best labeled as 'INTERNAL SCREAMING' as her body canabalizes her hand for parts to repair the damage.

Lydia curls to the side, blocking sight of the wound and repair from Ivan's sight (and her own really) as she hyperventilates in an attempt to not freak out as much as she usually does.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan carefully lowers down so he's crouching closer to Lydia's level and can interact with her, maybe give her a potion if she ends up being like 'Yes, dummy, I'm dying right now.'

That isn't quite what happens. Instead, without words, Lydia gives the answer that what's going on is something of a mystery to her as well, and as she explores the injury -- -- it slurps up... her hand?!

Ivan stares, the initial 'that's bizarre but maybe it's normal for Lydia!' surprise darkening into something more horrified and concerned as he sees Lydia's own terrified reaction to it.

As she curls in on herself, hiding from him, he reaches out for her shoulder, his various behavioral prohibitions and role restrictions momentarily forgotten, despite her signals that maybe he should back off right now.

"Hey-- hey... it'll be okay. Does it hurt?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

It's that sort of attitude that makes Lydia like Ivan to be honest. She doesn't recall Ivan ever being horrified by her. Confused and startled maybe, horrified at what is being done to her but--

--he checked up on her. It's little things like that that always get to her and here it happens again. A smart person would probably back off and consider whether it's safe to approach. Ivan just does it. Just asks if it hurts.

'Does it hurt?'

It feel weird but does it hurt? Not as much as it should, Lydia realizes. Whomever put this in her has essentially saved her life several times if you think about it. If she had ended up in the same sorts of situations...

It'll be okay?

Ivan places a hand on her shoulder. There is a faint ripple along Lydia's shoulder where he places it but it doesn't seem like it's going to try and eat IVAN'S hand at the very least.

Lydia slows her breathing, eyes screwed tightly shut. She ceases struggling.

And then she pulls her arm out, the wound apparently all healed up, indentation gone. The coloring still has that silver taint but that too is gradually fading as if she were being reset back to factory settings. Gradually her hand reforms from the stump at a similar rate.

If you replace a ship piece by piece with the same parts, is it still the same ship once you are done? How about if the parts aren't identical?

"Am I even me..?" She mumbles to herself. She wipes at her face with her other hand. She takes a few more deep breaths and exhales, avoiding looking at Ivan's face before she squints her eyes closed, turns towards his direction and peeks an eye open.

For once she seems to be at a loss for words.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan does startle a bit when his own touch causes a ripple -- but thanks to his usual reluctance to showing fear, he doesn't pull away. It's a relief when the ripple doesn't react further to his touch, though. Lydia doesn't answer his question, but seems to calm a little in her own time, as she works through her thoughts.

The injury itself seems to be healing, and her hand as well, at a slower pace. Ivan wonders what it would be like to be... changed like this, with miraculous resilience in exchange for an unfamiliar form, undertain rules, and unknown threats. Maybe he would take it. He's been trying to become less human. But Lydia was never asked...

Then she asks if she's still herself. He hesitates, a chill of 'who am I to tackle this?' going through him. But he doesn't see anyone else around to answer her...He swallows.

"I've only known this you. She seems like a pretty good person to be around, so I hope it's not too bad to be her, as well...?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

As far as Lydia knows she wasn't asked. Her memories of that time are understandably pretty jumbly. She has one memory recorded in pristine form, but it's a memory. Is that even exactly how it went down? She knows one thing for certain: His appearance. She's seen him standing there with Seymour as if he belonged on Lunar.

DOES he belong on Lunar? Are Solarians actually... Lunarians???? Maybe Lydia doesn't want to think too far down this rabbit hole while wondering if the same thing happened to her head if her hand would just push through too. Hasn't happened yet. But this hadn't happened before either. Not quite like this. She doesn't think she was asked. Maybe she was asked and she just regrets the decision now? That's a horrifying thought but it doesn't really feel like the 'her' that she understands as herself and she remembered enough of that to know who Granny Halle was at least. And her biological parents.

Ivan gives his own two cents. Her eyes widen faintly and her cheeks silver again and she says, "W-well--"

Well what? You know how Ivan reacts to compliments. All the things you want to say to him right now he'd recoil from, Lydia! That's not what you do to someone who said something nice to you!

Should she insult him instead or something would he like that more? That seems to Lydia to be maybe too much in the other direction. This is why Lydia liked machines they usually came with a handbook and they didn't complain if you broke a piece off. She needs some kind of Ivan manual, preferably one with instructions on how to get your Ivan to accept compliments because it also seems pretty inappropriate to say nothing.

"How do you always know whwat to say?" Lydia asks instead of any of that nonsense, half expression of joy and half genuine bewilderment before pushing herself up to her feet, wobbling a little as if getting used to proper structural integrity again.

"On second thought maybe we should get outta here before it gets back."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan looks sort of nauseated at the praise, but doesn't fight her over it. Perhaps he is giving her a post-trauma grace period of not being given grief over Ivan rules.

He pushes up to his feet as well, slowly, and looks out into the stormy horizon where the Iron Giant may or may not still lurk, though it seems to have found other things to do.

"I think we could've taken it," he says. "But yeah, maybe that's enough exploration for today."

When you digest your own hand to regrow your torso, that's a generally accepted sign that the party's over.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia at least tried to temper what she was going to say there. That was the mildest thing she could think of while not also feeling like a huge jerk for saying nothing or like an insult so Ivan could feel right at home.

She smiles at the show of confidence (in fighting) but ultimately says, "Sometimes the ruins win. Fact of life."

She's more subdued on the walk back...

...for like 5 minutes by then she's kind of babbling again like this hadn't even happened. Her body isn't the only thing that seems to regenerate quickly.