2019-11-08: A Muni Out of Ten

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  • Log: A Muni Out of Ten
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Dean Stark, Avril Vent Fleur, Lydia Seren
  • Where: Meria City - Castle Square
  • Date: November 08, 2019
  • Summary: The Outreach heads to the Meria Boule Festival, well in need of a relaxation day. There they're met by two familiar faces: one gone for some time, and one quite unexpected. Between them, they begin to play the games in earnest -- but what of the challenge that waits them at the end? Can they best the Mithril Chef competition?

DG: A party led by Riesenlied is now entering Meria Boule Festival Games.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Funny Money *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Okay, so, five gella gets you one token, but if you want a bargain, think
 about purchasing our fifty gella token pack..."

 First things first -- before you can poke around the games at the festival
 in Meria Boule, apparently you'll have to buy some tokens to trade to play
 the games. That's right, they use their own currency here, and the exchange
 rate seems dubiously steep. The good news is, you'll be able to win more and
 exchange them for valuable prizes.

 One thing's for sure -- if you don't negotiate purchasing (or certain
 'discounts') carefully, your wallet is taking a hit.
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied's been an enormous ball of stress lately, despite her best efforts with Noeline to stave it off -- it turns out that having the Fereshte still be back in Spira is really plaguing her at her lowest moments, and she's been crying about her children (and Lydia too, secretly, even if she wants to show a brave face to her).

    ... which is why the Outreach is here today -- because in part, they haven't met up again since returning to Spira, and... it's been a long enough time anyway!

    Meria Boule is a lovely city, warm and welcoming and good for the soul. As Wayside-like as the Thames can be, it's also much more enormous in scale, and it can be overwhelming -- and the homeyness of Meria is a nice change of pace.

    And they're having a festival today!

    "Wow..." Riesenlied whispers, dressed in something cute Noeline picked out for their trip out. Her hair is, contrary to how Avril and Dean probably saw her last, white -- of a chalkier shade than Avril's own, perhaps; something has happened, perhaps with her constant transformations, with how the scales have creeped up ever slightly further.

    She's wheelchairing today, but she's promised she'll try to have a Walking Moment, because today isn't a walking day. "Let's go in and see, everyone! I--"

    A sign points out that she needs tokens to play. "Oh... one token for... five gella. But eleven tokens for fifty gella? And-- oh no, for five hundred gella, you get one hundred and twenty, along with the chance to enter into a 'raffle'?"

    A pause.

    "I'm confused," Riesenlied honestly answers, looking to the others for help. "Which one would be best for us?"

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Noeline has been not-so-quietly adamant that she and Riesenlied get to have a lighter day for once. Not that the days on the Thames haven't been light, but she knows that the sea rig is perhaps a bit too chaotic for Riesenlied to handle right now - and doesn't include the all-important pastoral element that her partner seems to respond to much better.

    So she'd left both her armor and their worries back on the Thames, and booked them both some quick passage on a ship to the mainland for a couple of days, intending to use the time as a bit of a break. It's warm enough that she's nudged the other Hyadean towards a long and flattering sundress, cream and ochre against Riesenlied's pale colour - though there are blankets tucked under the seat in case her partner gets cold or just wishes to hide herself a little.

    Her half plate was never bulky, but she still looks a little smaller than usual without it. Were it a few years ago, she would probably be going full blast with fanciness, if only to convince the kids of Thames that the Crimson Noble Noeline had returned. But she's learnt that warm confidence does the trick just as well, so her hair is left down and she's wearing a short, light dress to complement Riese, dark against light.

    She's being affectionate today, partially to bolster Riesenlied and partially to spoil herself. By the time they're done perusing the sign, she's leant over the handlebars enough to lightly hug her partner from behind, not caring at all about Riesenlied's mutations. "Meria Boule... this city seems almost unchanged in the best part of a century," she comments with a light chuckle. "It was always quite a peaceful sort of place, I suppose. I was thinking we could stay a couple of nights."

    She gravitates towards Riesenlied's question. "One is much too few, but... if you ask me, that top tier is intended as a trap," she grumbles good-naturedly, the voice of experience. "The chance of you ever using that many tokens is remote, especially when you can win more." But she does pause, and let out an amused sigh. "Still, if you want to share them around, I can't say I mind."

DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Funny Money.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    It's time for an Outreach outing! And Dean's part of Outreach. He feels bad for Riesenlied that she's been so sad about the Fereshte being back in Spira still, and coming to this festival seemed like a good way to cheer her up, hopefully. He's never been to Meria Boule, so coming in time for the festival is honestly genuinely exciting for him.
    
    Except for the tokens, and the need to do math.
    
    "Uhhh..." Dean peers at the sign. "I'm not great at math." A beat. "But a raffle sounds like fun!" Another beat. "What's a raffle?"
    
    As for his own outfit, now that they're back on Filgaia, he's returned to wearing his usual outfit--jacket, long red scarf, boots, and turtleneck sweatervest. It's amazing how he doesn't stifle under this heat with all that on... Though granted, it *is* nearing the end of the year, when days are shorter and cooler. He hasn't commented on Riesenlied's white hair or her remaining in her wheelchair, but that's not exactly news at this point.
    
    "A trap?" he echoes at Noeline. She explains her reasoning. "Ohh, I see... But there's a lot of us here, so it'd be fine if we all pooled our money together and shared, right?" He scratches his head. "So if we got the big one... and split it up... that'd give us all, uh..." He pauses, and looks at Avril. "How many tokens would we all get?"

DG: Dean Stark has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Funny Money.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Riesenlied is not the only one to be a bit of a bundle of nerves, though Avril, as is her wont, wads much of that up within, presenting a more placid front.

    There have been a lot of things. Lydia's abduction, for one. Their abrupt transit back here.

    And... the thing that she had halfway admitted to Riesenlied and Noeline back in Spira, the thing she still hasn't spoken about with her friends. Soon, she had promised herself, after her discussion with Lily about their respective lost pasts. Soon, but first, she merely...

    ...wanted to pretend a little while longer. To just seize this normalacy, for just a little more.

    More than anything, this is why she is here today.

    This is not the first time that Avril has ventured out to a festival -- she knows full well what those are.

    This is, however, the first one that has had ticketing.

    She may, briefly, need to have this explained to her.

    "I see. Then, these are a form of 'fiat currency', one might say, only valid within these grounds..."

    She's going to need to have a raffle explained to her, too. This is possibly not what the ticket hawker signed up for when they took this job. Math, at least, is a strong suit for her, but--

    "A trap..." she murmurs, her brow furrowing. Her gaze hardens as she regards the hawker.

    She... produces the mirror. It glitters slightly -- strangely, coldly -- in this light.
    And then there are small crystalline fragments joining the glow that billows off of it briefly. Perhaps this might be when the hawker might back away.
    Particularly when Avril takes a slow step forward.

    "How many tickets is one likely to use when attending this festival?" she asks.

    "...What is the probability of winning a raffle item?" she further presses, gazing at the man intently.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Mirror of De Soto toward her party's challenge, Funny Money.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

LYDIA HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED! OH NO! Though she had visited earlier so there's like that. Nevertheless, last time Lydia was in the fair she managed to obtain, with Ivan's help, a stuffed carro! She didn't bring it along today, though, because the last thing she wants is to be mistaken as a THIEF.

But there's also the matter that shortly after arrival, her eye color shifts from silver to green and she manages to say, "Guardians Damn It Not Aga--" in the process.

OS blinks twice before cupping her chin in deep thought.

"This proved to be suitable 'date' activity." OS murmurs. "But..."

They look towards Riesenlied and Noeline. Then towards the ticketing booth, then towards Avril and company.

They approach in a steady unhurried pace before coming to a stop nearby.

Hello parents." OS says. "Lydia has already participated in festival activities. As such we will be taking her place today in order to collect data on the interactive elements of festival participation. We are willing to combine forces in this endeavour."

They look towards Dean for a moment before turning back to Noeline. "In a large grouping such as this, if we combine forces then each individual token increases in value as does the value of a 'bucket' of tokens. Nevertheless, we agree that to maximize efficiency we should only accept the minimum amount of tokens required in order to obtain the greatest rewards. We have yet to calculate whether 'fun' can have a designated price or if the process is wholly subjective."

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Funny Money.
DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Funny Money.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Funny Money *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Okay, so, five gella gets you one token, but if you want a bargain, think
 about purchasing our fifty gella token pack..."

 First things first -- before you can poke around the games at the festival
 in Meria Boule, apparently you'll have to buy some tokens to trade to play
 the games. That's right, they use their own currency here, and the exchange
 rate seems dubiously steep. The good news is, you'll be able to win more and
 exchange them for valuable prizes.

 One thing's for sure -- if you don't negotiate purchasing (or certain
 'discounts') carefully, your wallet is taking a hit.
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
==================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 1 *>==================
==========================< Results - Funny Money >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Mirror of De Soto                   1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied was -- quietly, very mildly pouty for once! 'You always pick the shorter dress,' she expresses, and then there was the most practical problem that the longer sundresses were... starting to snag on her rapidly scalebound legs, with how many little sharp ends and scales and hitches exist.

    That, and there's perhaps valour in not hiding your digitigrade legs from the world. If you got 'em... show 'em, girl? Does that saying even apply here?

    But it's worth comfort that she comes with Noeline, listening in awe to her explanation. "I see. There are four of us--"

    Hello parents.

    Riesenlied's surprise comes up through the roof again as Lydia approaches -- but her eye colour, and then her intonation tells her that this isn't Lydia. Not The Lydia Personality, regardless.

    "O.S.," she speaks softly. She swallows any fears she has for the moment. "Do you like festivals...? Let's go together," she puts on a brave smile.

    A true Mom-Bomb wouldn't just explode! Take that, Mom-Bomb!

    Dean has similar ponderances, but comes to the same conclusion Riesenlied annd OS are slowly (and rapidly, in order) getting to. She does warmly smile to say, "I'm glad you made it, Dean, Avril, it's been a while... I just want to spend today with you all--"

    Avril is... producing the mirror and stepping to the hawker. "U-uhh, well, you see, we don't publish those rates, eheh, eheh..."

    "'eeyyy, don't worry about it, pal, okay?"

    (BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2-7pMilJJM )

    A very familiar red and black dragon (not lizard!) is afloat beside the hawker, slipping her arm around his shoulder. "Y'see those folks? They're with me. I told you some people'd be coming, right?"

    "E-er, you did, Miss Odjn?"

    "I did," Odjn insists. "And if I didn't, then I can pack the Bouncy Castle that's been making you so much money and go elsewhere."

    "E-errr, of course! Here, Miss!" the hawker capitulates to the Combination Attack and hands Avril a literal bucket of tokens, before fleeing.

    Riesenlied is staring dumbfoundedly, feeling a tear roll down her cheek as the little dragon gives a wave and tips her tiny hat.

    "... what, no words for ol' Odjn? I'm hurt!!"

DG: Noeline has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Batter Up *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Hey, batter up!"

 Now this is interesting. It's a batting cage -- but this one's featuring a
 machine from Guild Galad to chuck balls for the one in the cage. They
 provide a bat for you if you want it.

 The game's pretty simple: how far and hard can you hit the balls flung at
 you? Just be careful -- these things can fly at you faster than you might
 expect.
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Injure==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Riesenlied gets a grin somewhere between impish and apologetic in return, and then a kiss on the cheek to try to mollify her. "Something like this just seems to suit you more, I suppose... but, I'll bear it in mind, and as an invitation," she hums with a soft grin, and then she can't help but smile warmly as she nestles against Riesenlied's back to close her eyes. "Still, I do have my own moments where I get a little jealous over people watching you, you know."

    "Ah, it's a prize draw at the end of the day, usually," she points out to Dean and Avril both when she opens her eyes again, and then hums as she straightens up and starts to dig through her purse. "It's probably not going to make up for the initial spend, but you're right that we might as well all pool together for the sake of a discount." She says that - but she's still watching Avril start to grill the man on the terms and conditions with a bright grin, waiting to see what happens next.

    What happens next is wholly unexpected. She joins Riese in having her eyebrows nearly shoot into the sky as OS approaches and greets them, and there's the sensation of a lurching surprise over her link with Riesenlied - but she manages to recover, bolstered by her partner's brave smile. In the end, she lets out a breathless laugh as she tilts her head. "... good morning. We'd love to have you along. Were you watching Lydia's turn?" she wonders in honest curiosity.

    There's another reunion that comes in short order. This is a different kind of shock - it doesn't leave her speechless so much as the gasps in surprise and laughter, blinking twice as if to make sure they're really seeing what they're seeing. "Odjn! What on Filgaia are you doing out here?" she puffs instantly, planting a hand on her hip. "Not that I'm unhappy to see you, quite the opposite, but you really manage to pick your moments sometimes!"

    As a group, they draw inside the fair, and thankfully the stalls aren't too far apart that they can't move between them. Noeline seems upbeat and eager to try everything, following the line of games and raising her eyebrows when the first one they come across is dominated by a large clunker of a machine which looks a lot like a cannon. "... this seems a bit much, doesn't it?"

    But it's enough to pique her curiosity, and a bat is already being pressed into her hands by the fast-talking young man who mans the stall, eager to take their tokens from them. She allows herself to be stood in front of the machine, and instinct makes her raise the bat ready to strike--

    --only for a high-pitched 'bweee--!!' to ring out from behind her, and a spherical silver pod is flinging itself in front of her to try to protect her from the projectile...!!

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Trouble toward her party's challenge, Batter Up.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Dean grins at Riesenlied. Already she's looking more cheerful! "It's great seeing you too, Riese! I'm glad we could get together for this festival! It's gonna be so much fun!" He pauses at Avril's input. "Fee at currency? What's that?" Dean wonders, growing steadily more confused. "Wait, do you mean, like, we have to pay a fee... to get the money?" Since, well, they do in fact need to pay a fee, depending on how you look at it.
    
    And maybe he'd settle into a semblance of understanding, except Lydia OS approaches. Every word out of her mouth is more and more incomprehensible, until Dean is left with @_@ eyes and clutching his head. "I-I don't understand anything you just said, Lydie..." He hasn't even heard of OS, or the results of Lydia's kidnapping beyond that she was safely recovered. Obviously, since she's right in front of them. Sort of.
    
    Odjn shows up to save the day, combining forces with Avril to bully the token guy into giving them all a literal bucket of tokens. Dean is happy to carry this, and brightens at the sight of it and the little spheroid dragon. "Hey Odjn!! Long time no see! I bet Riese is really happy to see y--R-Rises, are you crying?? D-don't cry! It's okay!!"
    
    Fortunately, things calm down as Noeline ushers the rapidly-more-chaotic group into the festival grounds. "Ohhh," he utters at her explanation of a raffle. "So we could win a prize? Cool!" He pauses. "So... do we have to do anything special to do the raffle thing?"
    
    He pauses when the group happens across a batting cage. Dean's never seen this before, but he's the active type, so he's almost immediately intrigued.
    
    "So you just hit the ball with the bat as hard as you can?" he says once explanations are had from the booth guy. "That doesn't sound hard! I'll give it my best shot!" And so he steps into the cage next to Noeline's, grabbing a small bag of purifying chalk-salt and dusting up his hands. With a borrowed bat in hand, he stands--he readies himself--and--the machine fires--he *swings*!!

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Purifying Chalk toward his party's challenge, Batter Up.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "A prize... I suppose then that would depend on what may be the prize."

    To say nothing of, well, the odds of winning said prize. Or how much they might have to spend to get even remotely within the orbit of attaining that prize.

    Which may be part of the reason more why she grills the ticket seller--

    As someone quite unexpected makes her entrance. "Lydia? Is that you...?"

    In a sense that's Lydia.
    In a sense, that is not Lydia.

    The mirror in her grasp continues to shine and shimmer as she gazes at the young woman.

    Her lips move, as if to voice something in silence.

    And then Odjn makes her grand return.

    ...And also resolves the matter of their ticketing. "Oh--" Her gaze leaps from the dragon to Riesenlied, then over to 'Lydia', back to Dean as he pleads for Riesenlied not to cry--

    Avril glances away, here.

    --and then to Noeline, as if she were seeking some sense of stability herself, here and now.

    "She is... not Lydia," she utters, rather bluntly, to Noeline. As if she were confirming the answer to a question.

    She is not Lydia.

    "I do not," she says to Dean, rather belatedly, "think that we need to do the raffle."

    They move on, approaching the...

    "What is this?" she asks, before the explanation is given. Dean steps right up to take point on this one--

    And before he does, Avril reaches out to touch his arm. "Here," she says, layering a brief pulse of her power into him. It feels cold, if briefly.

    "So that you do not get hurt."

    She has her eye on that machine...

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Batter Up.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "... I-I'm sorry, I'm so sorry--" Riesenlied blurts out her first thoughts, but--

    *FLICK*

    "W-weh," she whimpers, as Odjn gives her a tender flick on the nose as she floats closer. "Ah geez, here we go again," she sassily answers as she grins at Dean.

    "It's Dean the Bean! You're looking just as swell as always! C'mon, Riese will be fine."

    Avril glances away, as Riesenlied nods as she dabs at her cheeks, sobbing again. "I--I'll be fine... I'll be fine. I was just taken aback... but I was so surprised to see you."

    Avril's blunt statement pauses her, though, as if it were slightly chilling. She struggles--

    But fortunately, Riesenlied looks mollified in turn as Noeline admits her own jealousies in a tender moment -- ugh! They're so flirty! But she's rather willing to be adventurous if it means the Hyadean appreciates it too. "I know you like the longer hem," she smiles. "So I'll wear it next time."

    Noeline comes to a stall and-- there's confusion as she looks to the cannon and the bat that's shoved in her partner's hands. "Um-- what kind of game is this? T-this looks dangerous... aah!"

    She stares at the cannon firing and Trouble comes up to protect her.

    Odjn has a cheeky grin as she answers both Noeline's spoken and Riesenlied's, "We-ll... I heard the call you both put out from the Thames. A certain someone couldn't sit still. We've been making our way across, but we ran out of money."

    She sits atop of Trouble and just breathes a small gout of fire that stops the ball and pings it back.

    "So I did what I do best -- busking. And guess who's with me, bouncing away as one of the games?"

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Batter Up.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"We have not yet come to a consensus regarding festivals." OS tells Riesenlied. "That is why we have stepped forward due to the limitations of observation." They look back to Noeline and nods once at her. "Of course. We are always watching."

Always...watching. o.o

OS crosses their arms. "So naturally we will participate in order to--" Their gaze turns and settles on Odjn. It takes a moment but they there's a flicker of recognition. "Hello Odjn. Lydia would be impressed by your entrepreneurial spirit."

She doesn't say much else for a bit, fllowing the group to the batting cages. OS's gaze remains as passive as focused as ever.

"This should not be difficult." OS says, before looking to the @_@ed out Dean. OS says, "We...are not Lydie. Hello."

Somehow despite there being only minute amounts of intonation, OS still manages to sound awkward at Dean's reactions. They don't see Rebecca around.

OS nods once to Avril who seems to understand more immediately. "Do not worry. The Lydia processes are merely suspended."

OS then makes their way to the batting cage.

They summon one huge ass bat made from their own materials.

And they swing maybe TOO hard once the balls start flying, swinging with just one limb rapidly, their body a blur of motion.

"Is it Muni Muni?" OS asks, without even breaking from their swings.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Tiebreaker V 2.0 toward her party's challenge, Batter Up.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Batter Up *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Hey, batter up!"

 Now this is interesting. It's a batting cage -- but this one's featuring a
 machine from Guild Galad to chuck balls for the one in the cage. They
 provide a bat for you if you want it.

 The game's pretty simple: how far and hard can you hit the balls flung at
 you? Just be careful -- these things can fly at you faster than you might
 expect.
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Injure==========================================
==================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 2 *>==================
===========================< Results - Batter Up >============================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Tiebreaker V 2.0                    4   Brute   Effects: Efficient and Rally
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Trouble                             2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Purifying Chalk                     1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Injure(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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: Dean Stark has drawn a new Challenge.
========================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>========================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - In Pursuit Of Trivia *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 "WHAT... is the capital of Elluria?"

 Forget booth, this game is set up in a decently sized tent. And the name of
 this game is... trivia. Team trivia, as it happens.

 The way it works is simple: you have a question about this or that minutia
 set before your team and you have to provide an answer. The right answer
 wins! Some of these questions are particularly trivial, though... can you
 persevere?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Noeline nestles closer against Riesenlied for a moment, laughing softly. "Hmm... and pass up the chance for you to look gorgeous? ... not that you don't normally," she flirts a little longer, because she's in a warm enough mood that she can't help herself before taking up position at the batting cage. It doesn't take her long to get into the swing (ha-haw) of things, but then it might be cheating bringing a Hyadean to a kid's game...

    For a moment, Noeline wonders whether she should correct Dean - point out to the boy that it isn't strictly Lydia he's talking to - but some instinct makes her swallow her words. Dean's upbeat and impulsive nature might be very confusing to someone currently trying to understand the world, but perhaps throwing OS into the deep end is what she needs right now to get the breadth of experience she wants. And Noeline can count on Dean to be unassuming, and consider her a friend no matter what.

    But Avril is more grounded and a lot more in tune with this sort of thing, and the Veruni girl looks to her for answers. She returns the flat statement with a slow and solemn nod, and then breaks into a quiet smile. "She isn't Lydia. ... but she is our daughter, as well," she stresses. That's worth more than a glimmer of hope as far as she's concerned. It's something they can build on and nurture, and perhaps come to a mutual understanding. They've managed it before, and Noeline's not in the business of giving up.

    Letting out a breath, she snorts as OS gets to work, lowering her bat just a little to watch. "... you might have to go a little easy on the stall owner," she comments, trying to mask the laughter in her voice as the android casually blocks every shot, returning them fast enough it nearly tears the backboard off the cage.

    Covered by Odjn and Trouble both, Riesenlied is kept safe from any wayward shots. Trouble's initial panic over mistaking the ball machine for an actual cannon is thankfully short-lived, and it isn't long before it seems to be having fun zipping back and forth, setting Odjn up for the return. Noeline squints at the little dragon for a moment, then: "Is it really alright to be letting her just-- oh, what am I saying," she puffs. "She's probably having the time of her life."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Fortunately, Odjn does damage control on Riese's tears, so Dean doesn't have to fret so much. He relaxes, smiling, until the dragon calls him Dean the Bean. "What? I'm not a bean!" he protests. "I'm bigger than you are!"
    
    Not that that's the point, as Odjn as sure to point out. But that's neither here nor there.
    
    "Not... Lydia...?" Dean repeats, puzzled, looking from Avril to OS and back and forth again. He has no idea what she means by the Lydia processes being suspended. After a moment, he lights up and pounds a fist into his palm. "Oh! You must be her sister! I didn't know she had one!" He gives her a bright and cheerful smile and holds out his hand to shake. "Hey there! It's nice meeting you! I'm Dean Stark. What's your name?"
    
    Avril says they don't need to do the raffle. "Awww," Dean laments. He doesn't protest, though. If they don't know how to do it, then it's better to focus on just having fun with the other stuff. There's plenty to do here, after all! Which he's working on, waving that bat--but before he does, Avril instills him with some of her power. He looks at his arm and then at her in wonder, then gives her a warm smile. "Thanks a ton, Avril. Now I've really gotta give it my all!"
    
    BAM. He knocks that ball outta there!! With a laugh, enjoying everyone's successes. "You did awesome out there!" he gushes at OS. He pauses as the group comes to a tent. "Ooh, I wonder what's in here?" And in he goes!
    
    It turns out it's a trivia contest. The tent-runner quickly pulls the group in and gives them all a set of three trivia questions to answer. Dean looks dumbfounded, then pulls out his Danger Sphere. It lights up. It offers a lot of information. None of it is relevant or useful, because its info is all about Spira and this is Filgaia.
    
    "I don't know why I thought this would help," he laments. Over his shoulder, he looks at his friends. "What about you guys? D'you know?"

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Danger Sphere toward his party's challenge, In Pursuit Of Trivia.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "Aw, what, you don't like that one?" Odjn teases rather amiably. "Don't y'know how tough raw beans are? Y'gotta cook them for like... hours before they get soft and edible! It means you're a tough boy!"

    Riesenlied notices quietly as the little dragon jokes. Her spirits seem to have been lifted following her hiatus, but... a quiet doubt creeps over her mind. It's because of her--

    "It's not because of you," Odjn answers, practically reading her mind. Then she looks back towards Lydia, and the little explanation with raaaaised eyebrows...

    ...

    Then totally goes with Dean's explanation for now. "O.S., right? Lydia's sister! What a cool name! You know mine already, so you'd best say you know my jams too! I wrote a new song, y'know."

    Riesenlied looks on softly towards OS, and nods as she expresses, "Did you have fun at the batting game, OS...?" She smiles at Dean's cheer as she claps for them. "You all did very well."

    She blinks, though, as OS asks if it's Muni Muni. Odjn just about cackles as Noeline chimes in too. "She's bein' a bouncy castle, of course. She loves that a whole lot." She nods at Noeline, before shuffling a bit closer to her, speaking more soberly as Riesenlied gets distracted by the ball game.

    "... it's still a bit awkward, but ... I caught enough of a break to not get stressed out to a meltdown, at least. Lemme know if you need a break too, yeah?" She toothily grins as she defends, "I'm her original mascot, after all!"

    Riesenlied looks to Avril in turn, swallowing nervousness. "... it's like Noeline said. I want to try to welcome her rather than..." A pause. The word that they both met each other over, the word that seems to keep coming up.

    "Rather than reject her."

    Dean calls them over to the tent, where they're hosting trivia. She looks to his Danger Sphere for a moment, then says, "Oh, Elru trivia? I should be able to help. The Kingdom of Ell has Elluria as its capital. However, it is not the only country in the continent of Elru..."

    She's cheered up a bit talking about home, it seems.

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, In Pursuit Of Trivia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    The Lydia processes are merely...

    ...suspended.

    Something about the phrasing of that sentence resonates with Avril. Perhaps it was a familiar context? Or a similar word she -- or another -- had once used?

    But as she had said to Lily: she remembers nothing. Her body meanwhile recalls. Muscle memory, she has heard it termed. An echo of what had once been 'known'...

    Riesenlied -- and in particular Noeline -- continue to fill in the blanks.

    She cannot say she is familiar with it as it is for Lydia.

    But it reminds her, just a little bit, about her own circumstances.
    About that old thing in the dark of her mind.

    "...Regardless of how she has come about, she is still your daughter." She closes her eyes and tilts her head in a shallow nod. "I see."

    Though she does tilt her head at Dean's summary of who 'OS' is. "Sisters... I had not thought of it in that manner. I suppose that may be so."

    Does that make her and her... other sisters, too?

    (As for helping Dean, she has no doubt he'd make it on his own--
    --but it's that machine that she has serious misgivings towards. An animus, nearly. As if she had seen it once do something terrible...)

    They head on after, the lot of them: two Hyadeans, an ancient Veruni Queen, a young Drifter, and a similarly young abductee (or, perhaps, science experiment?).

    Into the tent they go.

    They're asked questions three within. This, it seems, is the game itself -- knowing the answers.

    She glances down at the frosted mirror as the next question is asked:

    "Name the winner of the Lacour Tour of Arms in 499 PC!"

    She doesn't see her own face in the mirror as much as she sees a lock of her hair, dimly reflected in the rime. And she is reminded--

    "Who is, Lululu Wait?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    THE WINNER OF THE LACOUR TOUR OF ARMS 499 PC

    Lululu Wait staaaares adoringly as the little Servbot makes a mess out of his mechanical face on her bowl of curry race. This... is good, actually...?

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Mirror of De Soto toward her party's challenge, In Pursuit Of Trivia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS says, "Correct." to Dean's understanding that they are Lydia's 'sister'. This seems to be their own way of looking at it so even if Dean doesn't really get it, OS seems to think he does. They shake Dean's hand. "We are called OS, Dean Stark. It is an acronym that means--"

OS's bat disintegrates and they look to Noeline. "This provides us with maximum tickets." They protest before studying the backboard. "..." They look down at the floor. "..." Dean says they did awesome, even which has the mysterious effect of making OS stare even harder at the floor. "......'Thank You'." They say. There is further discussion about them between Avril and Riesenlied. More floor staring.

"Sisters." She agrees again, looking towards Avril this time. "Dean seems quick to understand complex concepts. We are impressed with his emotional intelligence."

They look towards Riesenlied once more and then adds, "We have understood that 'fun' can be shown through a multitude of expressions but we are uncertain on the source. We will try having fun: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha."

And then they smile, which doesn't really feel quite right even if they're making a good show of it---perhaps due to the unnatural nature of said smile or simply that OS doesn't smile all that often.

They look to Dean once more before heading into the KNOWLEDGE TENT.

"Surely a quiz of this simplicity will be easy for Dean to complete effortlessly but we will participate as well. Give us a difficult high point question."

"Very well! Who created the Emma Motor?"

OS doesn't answer immediately.

"Do you need a hint?"

"...Emma Hetfield...created the Emma Motor." OS says quietly.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, In Pursuit Of Trivia.
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Once again, Noeline's mouth opens - and then no sound comes out until she dissolves into a soft chuckle. Well, perhaps it's good enough for OS to be considered Lydia's sister, even if the Hyadean is pretty sure that's going to make Lydia herself grump like hell when she next has the chance. She was already pretty pouty when OS got described as another half of her, but-- well, it's not like she's really quite sure of the semantics of it all.

    And rather than dwell on it, it's more constructive to learn about other aspects of her, instead. Like the way that she seems willing to follow after Dean as they head for the Trivia Tent, or the miniscule but differing pauses that seem to make up OS's reaction to the world. OS's attempts to engage in fun might be a little clumsy, but the girl is evidently trying her best. "You can't force something like fun. That might be a little hard to grasp, I realize," she advises. "But just try to be-- as here as you can, I suppose."

    As Riesenlied gets distracted, Noeline reaches up to fondly scratch Odjn behind the horns, wearing a conflicted smile. "I'm glad to hear it, and I appreciate the offer... but I hope you don't think of yourself as just a stand-in. You give her a type of support I cannot, just as I do the same. And we are all family, not mascots, and that includes you," she huffs, a little awkward herself. "Needing a break doesn't lessen that in any way."

    There's a pause. "... she's learning to fight for love, not just bend to it. She still has her reservations... but I'm proud of her," she quietly reports, then helps Riesenlied along as she more brightly adds: "Is everything alright back home? We didn't exactly leave in the most orderly fashion."

    "Elluria is the city and the kingdom both," she shoots back to the question instantly, then folds her arms and makes a show of looking solemn. "Really, it feels like cheating for me to chime in." ... aren't you just being lazy, Noeline?!

DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, In Pursuit Of Trivia.
========================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>========================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - In Pursuit Of Trivia *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 "WHAT... is the capital of Elluria?"

 Forget booth, this game is set up in a decently sized tent. And the name of
 this game is... trivia. Team trivia, as it happens.

 The way it works is simple: you have a question about this or that minutia
 set before your team and you have to provide an answer. The right answer
 wins! Some of these questions are particularly trivial, though... can you
 persevere?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
===================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 3 *>===================
=======================< Results - In Pursuit Of Trivia >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          5 --(5)--> 10                  Fail
Danger Sphere                       2   Wits    Effects: Resilient
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Mirror of De Soto                   1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  40 --(20)--> 60                Pass
Conditions: Reckless(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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> Dean Stark has posed.

    Tough like a bean, huh? Put like that, it's not so bad. "Well, okay," Dean says, giving Odjn a lopsided smile. "I'll let you off the hook *this* time!"
    
    O.S.! That's a neat name. Like K.K., except O.S. is presumably not evil. ...hm. Maybe not the best comparison. But OS accepts the 'sister' statement, though Avril says something odd about how she hadn't thought of it like that before. Dean looks between the two of them with a ??, with further ???? at OS's use of 'we.' But they thank him, so he just smiles and says, "You're welcome!"
    
     He at least gets he's being complimented. That's always nice!
    
    Regardless, everyone pitches in with the quiz. They each get a correct answer, and so they win some tickets! These tickets can be exchanged at another booth for prizes. ...It takes a lot of tickets to get something good. But they've got them, so onwards they go!

DG: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
=================<* CHALLENGE - No Escape From The Gatcha *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Care to give Lady Luck your best shot?"

 Somehow, you feel like you've seen something like this booth before. The
 setup is simple: you have a lever, a machine that deposits capsules, and a
 list to one side of the little figurines in the capsules. Get a set of rares
 between yourselves, and you can trade them in for some tickets! But if you
 don't, too bad.

 Though you'll get to keep the little figurines if you do lose. That's...
 nice?

 There's just one snag in the whole thing: the lever sticks. You're going to
 have to fight with it a little.
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Odjn listens in to Noeline very quietly, glancing towards Riesenlied as she oohs and ahhs about the Emma Motor and the winner of the Lacour Tournament (whose name draws some curiosity from her; how weird!).

    "... I don't know yet what kinda support I can give, save that if I'm not present I can't give it," Odjn answers more soberly. "Fighting for love, huh...? Maybe we're coming to the same conclusion after all."

    She asks if Wayside's fine. "Oh yeah. Did you know Sibyn started farming like a woman possessed and has like, a whole field of taters now? It's kind of insane. And Val is like a minor legend in the international bartending community."

    Riesenlied looks rather pleased with the tickets, holding them up and calling, "Noeline! Everyone. You get some tickets too." She's genuinely pleased about it, that she gets distracted as--

    Care to give Lady Luck your best shot?

    Riesenlied blinks as she is beckoned by one of the attendees to a booth with a machine with a lever that deposits... capsules. A list of little figurines are listed on the capsules.

    This turns out to be an extremely horrible idea, because Riesenlied doesn't even notice the prizes--

    "Look, everyone... the capsules..." Riesenlied nearly tumbles out of her chair as she plants herself in front of the glass pane.

    "The capsules are all very round..."

    She takes hold of the token bucket and starts putting coins in. One token, one capsule, two tokens, two capsules...

    ...

    "I-if we don't stop this Round Menace, our bucket's gonna be empty!" Odjn wails in despair.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia would probably be more upset at OS being labeled as 'another personality' or 'a part of her' than she would 'sister' though even that might be tough for her to swallow right now. The fact that OS's first interactions with her loved ones was to fire death beams at them didn't set a good starting appreciation for OS even if, okay, that's pretty much how Lydia really became friends with these people too.

OS approaches the dreaded capsule machine. "This is a simple device of inferior complexity to to our network." They look towards Noeline and nod to her for some reason, no doubt deciding to be as 'here' as they can be.

Yeah they only think they understand what Noeline means. They approach one of the capsule machines and fiddles with the stick a bit before adding, "The capsules seem to be of different materials than the primary components of the machine that contains them. Assimilating."

OS's arm liquifies partially and rapidly engulfs the capsule machine. The machine itself seems to rapidly be taken apart and its materials absorbed aside from the the capsules themselves which can be visually seen distending various parts of OS's arm.

They turn to look towards Avril and then approaches her.

"Please pull on our other arm. We will prove to be a superior capsule machine to the ones provided by this locale."

If Avril actually does this, OS's hand will split open and start spitting out capsules. All the good ones too!

Yeah she is completely misreading the point of these machines.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, No Escape From The Gatcha.
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    "You're not expected to be there every minute of every day," Noeline points out in return, picking at a strand of hair. The last time she talked to Odjn feels like it was when she was a very different person. For all her confidence, she has to hope she can do right by the little dragon as well. "To be honest, I don't know what we can do to help Riese with what's happening to her either, but... she considers it enough to be close to her, I'm sure."

    The Hyadean blinks once, then raises her eyebrows. "... good on the both of them. I mean, I expected Val to adapt, but I'm glad to hear Sibyn and the others are fine too. Once we find the Fereshte, it'd probably do everyone good to go back there for a while. Provided it doesn't explode immediately," she grumbles, before looking up as Riesenlied calls her, and chuckling as they head over together. "Well done," she says genuinely as she takes the handlebars of the wheelchair, relieved it wasn't all physical.

    It takes Noeline several moments to recognize the machine sitting innocently in the middle of the next tent, and then her eyebrows shoot upwards. "Ugh-- those things," she declares in the tone of voice of someone who's run afoul of them before. "You know, I swear they've all but replaced toy shops in Guild Galad with these things?" she notes with distaste. "All it is is a way to pay more for whatever you particularly want."

    Yeah, there's no way she didn't succumb to the Crimson Noble SSR when she was younger, and ended up with fifty duplicates of the Winsome Maiden N instead.

    She's about to complain more when the quiet call of 'round' reaches her ears, and instinct makes her grip onto the wheelchair just in time to follow Riesenlied's lurching forwards, just about keeping her in the chair. "R-riese," she blurts as the first token goes into the machine, then the second and the third - and it quickly becomes clear she's going to have to tap into their link, resting a hand on Riesenlied's back. "It's alright," she soothes across it. "You can have the ones we all draw, so there's no need to--"

    One derail is derailed by another as OS just sort of subsumes the machine, and Noeline squints as she tries to catch up. "W-well--" she puffs, not quite sure what to say at first and watching in quiet confusion as the offer is made to Avril and Dean. "... good, ah. Good job?"

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, No Escape From The Gatcha.
DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, No Escape From The Gatcha.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Here comes a challenger! Dean pauses in listening to Odjn's storytelling about Wayside and Sibyn and Van when asked to give Lady Luck a shot. Riese stumbles forward, possessed by The Round. "Aw, but she's so happy," Dean points out to Odyn. "If you're that worried, we could give her a handful and take the rest of the bucket away?" Even a handful of tokens ought to get a bunch of those capsules!
    
    Oh wait, Noeline's got it. Sort of? She approaches Riese to try to get her to stop spending so fast--but then OS declares she is the superior gatcha machine and HER HAND OPENS UP AND ENGULFS THE MACHINE AND DEAN HAD AN INKLING THAT LYDIA WASN'T EXACTLY NORMAL BUT HE NEVER KNEW HER SISTER COULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS. His eyes bug out as he rears back a step, uttering, "Woah," like a famous movie star. It's just as well that OS turns to Avril for the follow-up. Dean's left blinking wide-eyed.
    
    Look, he's got a shovel. If it comes to that, he can smack a machine or something. But he probably isn't going to need to do much here.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Ace of Spades toward his party's challenge, No Escape From The Gatcha.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Dean looks at her in confusion.

    Avril is forced to avert her gaze. "It is..."

    Fortunately, a distraction comes--

    In the form of a capsule machine.

    Approaching it, she regards the device and its contents quizzically. "So we are able to... collect the capsules and return matching contents for a prize?"

    She is silent for a moment, her brow creased.

    "It seems as if the result would depend heavily on chance, would it not...? No matter how one might pull the lever, there is no way in which to alter the odds..."

    She lifts a hand to rest against her chin, perhaps considering the matter further--

    Before slowly turning her head to regard... Riesenlied, excitedly putting in tokens for the machine.

    "...? Riesenlied? Are you able to..."

    Odjn interjects that they may, ah, have a problem here.

    "..."

    The silence only prolongues lengthily as Lydia -- or rather OS -- approaches the machine and assimilates it.

    Blinking owlishly, she tilts her head as Lydia entreats her to pull the other one, so to speak.

    "..."

    But what can she do but reach out to Lyd--OS and pull her arm as asked?

    Is this... okay?

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, No Escape From The Gatcha.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
=================<* CHALLENGE - No Escape From The Gatcha *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Care to give Lady Luck your best shot?"

 Somehow, you feel like you've seen something like this booth before. The
 setup is simple: you have a lever, a machine that deposits capsules, and a
 list to one side of the little figurines in the capsules. Get a set of rares
 between yourselves, and you can trade them in for some tickets! But if you
 don't, too bad.

 Though you'll get to keep the little figurines if you do lose. That's...
 nice?

 There's just one snag in the whole thing: the lever sticks. You're going to
 have to fight with it a little.
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
==================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 4 *>==================
===================< Results - No Escape From The Gatcha >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rings of Promise                    4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Rally
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Ace of Spades                       2   Combat  Effects: Embolden
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    5 --(0)--> 5                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  60 --(20)--> 80                Pass
Conditions: Reckless(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied doesn't respond at first, seemingly seduced entirely by the lure of the Round. But Noeline coaxes her out of it gently, as she senses the atmosphere from their link and gets startled as her partner holds her hand. "O-oh, okay... was there a point to these? I just wanted to get as many round things as possible--"

    Dean mentions that she looks so happy. "Ughh," Odjn slumps. "You can say that 'cause you weren't there on that fateful day in Adlehyde, the Day the Cuccos Came... it all changed on that day."

    A pause. "But yeah, we should ration--"

    But then OS erupts into the machine and recombobulates it.

    Riesenlied yelps backwards as Noeline pulls her on out as she stares towards the new, magical machine. She looks towards Noeline's update on Wayside, looking down very gently. "... mm. I would very much love that."

    She looks on towards OS with a quiet smile, looking towards the arm. "A superior capsule machine? I see... does it make a nicer sound? As long as round things come out..."

    Riesenlied STILL hasn't cottoned on to the fact that there's actual stuff inside the capsules.

    Then Avril remarks on the odds, and yet OS has rigged the odds. She pulls, as asked--

    RAINBOW 10-DRAW

    All the 5-star prizes come out.

    "... hmmmmmmmm, that's how they 'getcha', huh?" Odjn muses, in an extremely Aerith-like manner.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS makes "Beep babeep beep gleep!" noises as she spits out capsules in an attempt to placate their mom.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riese loses fine motor control as she burbles in glee at the noise, oh no!!

DG: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
============<* CHALLENGE - The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge *>=============
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Welcome to... the Mithril Chef!"

 You find yourself approached by a booth operator who sees, perhaps,
 something they like in your eyes. They'd like to make you a deal. All or
 nothing, staked on your success on their game...!

 Which is you against other would-be winners against the challenge posed by
 none other than... the Mithril Chef of the Meria Boule Festival themself
 (Who is Marina, who is not particularly good at disguising herself). Your
 challenge is this: craft a festival-friendly meal with only the ingredients
 provided to you, in the time allotted!

 Do you have a keen eye and the wits to determine how to proceed? A pile of
 tickets is waiting on your ability to concoct a meal on a tight deadline!

 (OOC: Feel free to have your alt in the opposing group if desired!)
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Reckless========================================
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Rather fortunately, the group heroically band together to protect Riesenlied from the gatcha or... is it more that they were protecting their tokens from Riesenlied? Odjn pauses and slumps at Noeline as she mumbles, "I'm working through it. We'll talk later, right now it's fun time!"

    OS subsumes the gacha machine and helps the group win by only procuring the rare-tier prizes, as Avril finds when she pulls on her arm, which...

    Riesenlied... doesn't appear to have noticed. In her view, you see, each pull of the lever produces a round capsule.

    Therefore, she wins every time. "Hehe... we won every single draw," she answers as much to Noeline.

    Dean is on hand with shovel, perhaps speaking deep to the shovelware nature of a lot of these. Dean is extremely wise.

    BUT THEN

    The day passes on with little fanfare -- a lot of fun and enjoyment is had. But at the end of the festival day, everyone starts getting noisy about a 'Mithril Chef' competition. Heading on to the center of the square, there's a big, bright yellow stage adorned with all kinds of colourful signs advertising the competition.

    "Congratulations!" exclaims the booth operator. "You all have won the right to become our Mithril Chef competitors!"

    Riesenlied looks really confused, because she's pointing to the stage where one of the judges is... very bright and round. "Odjn... isn't that..."

    Muni-Muni bounces up and down. "Muniiii! tn. Muni can't wait to taste all your dishes!"

    Riesenlied pumps her hands up as she exclaims, "L-let's try it! If Muni is one of the judges, we'll certainly win for sure! I know what she likes! And I'm a master of my own recipes now. Especially Mom Spaghetti."

    Putting aside the questionable nature of bribing the judges, however, the Mithril Chef herself is a figure who can't be underestimated, for it is a very poorly disgused Marina Irington, owner of the Irington Bakery. And, what's more...

    "And in the Champion's Corner! The Mithril Chef herself has death stranded in her pocket! It's Lululu Wait!"

    "... why did I let anyone convince me into this," Lunata answers, dressed up in a chef's double-breasted jacket and a tall hat with an apron with servbot faces printed on it. She lifts her head and catches sight of the group.

    oh no

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

This feeling...! OS observes Riesenlied's reactions. Her joy of receiving the round capsules. OS naturally can't read Riesenlied's mind so they feel like tbey helped.

The gacha machine...did not gacha their moms! This was a close call!

Nevertheless, OS gives Avril a nod. "You did well, Avril."

Despite the wholly impassive face there's just a smidge of pride in their tone.

But they get quiet again shortly after. They don't seem to be nearly as talkative as Lydia who can barely keep her mouth shut even when she's trying to. They sneak glances towards Dean and Avril periodically.

But then...

COOKING CONTEST.

OS says, "Have we?" They look back to Riesenlied, then to Muni Muni. Then down at the floor again. "Cooking..." Their eyes widen. "...We can...with our own power."

They reach into their pouch and draws out a soylent ration in their hand. A faint thrumming emits from OS's hand and periodically the ration spins around gradually on OS's hand.

"We are using the power of science to enhance the meal." OS tells Riesenlied, quietly considering Spaghetti and Mom-Bombs.

IN THE OTHER CORNER

It's Marivel Armitage! "Oh Dean!" She chirps merrily. "How lovely to meet you. And--ah--Avril." She dips her head briefly. "Hope you are well.... Well enough to be defeated... by my HALLOWEEN COOKIES...!"

She reveals a slew of freshly baked BAT-SHAPED sprinkle covered cookies! "Be sure to eat them while they are fresh and ruin your dinner Ga Ha Ha Ha Ha!! The stifling social norms stand no chance against my dark power...!"

She pauses and then leans in to murmur to Lululu Wait.

"Lunie." Marivel says. "It's because...you cannot resist your passions....!"

She grins fangly.

OS looks faintly perplexed as she prepares her MICROWAVE SOYRITTO.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "..."

    It is to Avril's credit that she manages (at this point) a largely straight face; in spite of OS's... mannerisms, she has found perhaps her centering point (more or less) and simply kneels to retrieve the prize from within the winning capsule.

    And then presents it to the stall manager. "Here. This is the winner, is it not?"

    From there it's onwards throughout the fair.

    Until that point where a dread and dark challenge is laid before them:

    Are they wonderful enough chefs to defeat the opposing group in this...

    ~~Mithril Chef Competition?!~~

    "So we are to create a dish, each? I see."

    Which raises an important question among questions:

    Can Avril, noted amnesiac and queen, actually cook anything?

    She regards the ingredients presented to them.

    "Faire food... hmm, I wonder..." she murmurs, eyeing a vat of milk and cream.
    Her gaze falls on the sugar.

    Her eye hood. She knows, now, what she must do--

    As Marivel, on the opposing team, calls out to her.

    "Marivel, it is good to see you again. I am--"

    Well enough to be defeated by the bat cookies?

    "I see. So that is the weapon you have fielded in this battle between chefs," Avril remarks, a moment later. "However, I will not be so easily bested..."

    And she turns away, attending to mixing and cooking the milk, cream, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

    ON THE OTHER TEAM

    "...Does Muni-Muni even like sweets? Here I would've thought something savory," remarks one archaeologist and current cooking battle contestant Josephine Lovelace. "But if it's gotta be sweet, why not sweet with a kick?"

    She then presents her winning dish:
    Sweet pickles.
    ...They're bright red...

    "I used extra syrup," Josie explains to her fellow teammates.

    Avril winds up preparing the ice cream base, but there's no way that churning it will work in time for the judging, let alone freezing--

    Which is the point where she brings out that mirror once more and sets it on the counter.

    And then pours some of the base onto the mirror. It freezes quickly; with a spatula she's able to start rolling it up.

    "I saw a vendor at Lacour prepare these," she explains, using an ancient and powerful artifact to make an ice cream novelty.
� Appending to existing file

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Mirror of De Soto toward her party's challenge, The Mithril Chef Festival
Challenge.
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    "Of course," Noeline answers the little dragon with a nod of her head and a slightly wan smile - but she firms it up the next moment as she takes the dragon's advice and sets the matter of Riesenlied's mutation aside, fixing Odjn with a much more direct gaze than in the past. "Still, I said it before - but it's good to see you well."

    The Hyadean is absolutely not about to burst Riesenlied's comfortably round bubble - and besides, it's not like her partner is wrong, either. There's a lot of kids waiting for them on the Fereshte, so it's not like a surplus of toys is going to hurt anyone. "We did," she chuckles warmly as she helps Riese fully back into her chair, fussing over her partner. "Let's hang onto them to give out to everyone later, hm?"

    The rest of the day is peaceful, and Noeline's obviously enjoying the atmosphere of the town and its small but lively festival. By the time the cooking competition rolls around, she's got a papercraft crown sat atop her head, and a balloon is tied to one handle of the wheelchair, and the Hyadean is positively shining following a rather dramatic rendition up on a stage.

    "Ah," she blurts at the sight of Muni-Muni, who has apparently worked her way into one of the more senior positions within the festival. Gently, she huffs to herself with pride and amusement, and navigates Riesenlied's wheelchair up towards one of the counters. "Alright. I'll help as much as I can, of course."

    OVER THERE

    "Aw, c'mon. It's gonna be fun! Besides, just try to convince me that you're not gonna keep that hat," drawls the person manning the station next to Lululu Wait. For her part, Shalune looks right at home in the midst of the festival, and doubly upbeat given that she's apparently found a cohort in making poor Lunata's life hell at times like these. Two of them, if you count both Josie and Marivel.

    The pink-haired mechanic stares at the pile of vegetables sat in front of her on a countertop, and then looks over at the pots and pans available, her hand at her chin as she makes a show of thinking. She's fully aware that she's not as good at cooking as Lunata is, but as someone who knows her own strengths, she can at least confidently say she's not bad - especially when it comes to improvization.

    She doesn't even know what she's making yet when she halves and scoops out the tomatoes, shoving them to one side. With that done, she taps the knife thoughtfully against the countertop, waiting for inspiration to strike - then halves a few of the peppers and most of the carrots before hefting a small but dangerous-looking device onto the counter.

    It looks for all the world like a grater welded to an automatic piston, and sure enough, she starts pressing the prepared vegetables against the side of it in a worryingly dangerous way, letting the rough shavings fall into a large pot to be cooked down with a collection of non-Dean beans.

    This is probably just going to end up as some kind of stew again, isn't it? Oh well. At least she's humming happily as she works.

    BACK HERE

    Noeline is, frankly, kind of a terrible cook.

    For all that she roamed around on her own a great deal, she kind of missed out on the whole idea of learning how, preferring instead just to sample whatever local delights she could every time she moved through a place and occasionally relying on She does regret this, at least, and she has taken some steps to try to learn from Riesenlied - but she's strictly at the level of 'helper' still, and often that help is 'keep the kids out of the kitchen for a while'.

    But even she can boil some spaghetti in readiness... right?

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    It's a cooking challenge!
    
    Dean is a mediocre cook at best. He's significantly better at eating, as many young men are.
    
    "Cool!" he says anyway when the booth operator says they've 'won the right' to be Mithril Chef competitors. "Uhh... What're we going to make?*"
    
    *'What are we capable of making that won't taste awful when the flour has settled,' is what he means. Dean doesn't realize he means this. But he does.
    
    His gaze turns towards the opponents, and he lights up when he sees a pair of friends of his. "Hey, Lunie!! I'm so glad to see you're doing okay!" he calls, waving enthusiastically to Lunata. "Marivel, you're here too?! This is gonna be so fun!" Especially since she made COOKIES and is actively encouraging them to SPOIL THEIR DINNERS. It's okay, Marivel. Dean's bottomless stomach will prevail and have plenty of room for dinner still. "C'mon, Avril! C'mon, OS! Let's--oh, you guys are already cooking. Uhhh..." He looks around back and forth at the remaining ingredients. Riese has her Mom Spaghetti and Noeline's got her bac... Spotting some carrots and peanut butter, Dean gets the brilliant idea to prepare--carrot sticks with peanut butter.
    
    ...It at least requires *some* preparation...?
    
    ON THE OTHER SIDE
    
    Tidus, donning an apron and a white chef's hat, complains, "I'm not even supposed to be here today!!"

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Danger Sphere toward his party's challenge, The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge.
DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
============<* CHALLENGE - The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge *>=============
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "Welcome to... the Mithril Chef!"

 You find yourself approached by a booth operator who sees, perhaps,
 something they like in your eyes. They'd like to make you a deal. All or
 nothing, staked on your success on their game...!

 Which is you against other would-be winners against the challenge posed by
 none other than... the Mithril Chef of the Meria Boule Festival themself
 (Who is Marina, who is not particularly good at disguising herself). Your
 challenge is this: craft a festival-friendly meal with only the ingredients
 provided to you, in the time allotted!

 Do you have a keen eye and the wits to determine how to proceed? A pile of
 tickets is waiting on your ability to concoct a meal on a tight deadline!

 (OOC: Feel free to have your alt in the opposing group if desired!)
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Reckless========================================
==================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 5 *>==================
==============< Results - The Mithril Chef Festival Challenge >===============
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(100)--> 100               Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(100)--> 100               Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          10 --(100)--> 110              Fail
Danger Sphere                       2   Wits    Effects: Resilient
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    5 --(100)--> 105               Fail
Mirror of De Soto                   1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  80 --(10)--> 90                Fail
Conditions: Reckless(2)|Stupify(2)|Wound(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: Dean Stark is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Avril Vent Fleur is too exhausted to continue!
DG: The party led by Riesenlied has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
======================<* CHALLENGE - A Real Gold Rush *>======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "It's all in the wrist!"

 You find yourself approached by a booth operator who sees, perhaps,
 something they like in your eyes. They'd like to make you a deal. All or
 nothing, staked on your success on their game...!

 Which is your team, versus a second group, in a game of goldfish catching.
 The, er, catch is that you have to snag the goldfish with a paper net. It's
 very easy to tear, especially when wet. And since this is a competition, you
 can't get away with even nabbing just one...

 Do you have the deft touch and speed necessary to succeed in such a
 fiendishly difficult task? A pile of tickets is waiting on your ability to
 catch fish under compromising conditions!

 (OOC: Feel free to have your alt in the opposing group if desired!)
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate===========================================
DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Bouncy Castle Form toward her party's challenge, A Real Gold Rush.
DG: Noeline has used her Tool Strife toward her party's challenge, A Real Gold Rush.
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
======================<* CHALLENGE - A Real Gold Rush *>======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "It's all in the wrist!"

 You find yourself approached by a booth operator who sees, perhaps,
 something they like in your eyes. They'd like to make you a deal. All or
 nothing, staked on your success on their game...!

 Which is your team, versus a second group, in a game of goldfish catching.
 The, er, catch is that you have to snag the goldfish with a paper net. It's
 very easy to tear, especially when wet. And since this is a competition, you
 can't get away with even nabbing just one...

 Do you have the deft touch and speed necessary to succeed in such a
 fiendishly difficult task? A pile of tickets is waiting on your ability to
 catch fish under compromising conditions!

 (OOC: Feel free to have your alt in the opposing group if desired!)
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate===========================================
==================<* Meria Boule Festival Games - Round 6 *>==================
========================< Results - A Real Gold Rush >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          100 --(0)--> 100               Pass
Bouncy Castle Form                  3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             100 --(0)--> 100               Pass
Strife                              2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          110 --(X)--> X
                                                Effects:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    105 --(X)--> X
                                                Effects:
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)|Reckless(1)|Slow(2)
Effects:
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Riesenlied has successfully explored Meria Boule Festival Games!
=======================<* Meria Boule Festival Games *>=======================
================<* CHALLENGE - You May Already Be A Winner *>=================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "How many tickets do you got there? ...That many? Hey, good job! Here, how
 about this one?"

 Fresh from your successes at the games you present your tickets to the
 person at the prize booth. They mull them over before producing today's top
 prize:

 Amazing. It's one in the hotly-anticipated, highly collectable Guild Galad
 army figurine series (collect all 12!), each representing a class of soldier
 within the Guild Galad military. Even for something at a 1/35th scale, the
 paint job is exquisite.
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    The delectable platter of cuisine is presented.

    "On the Challenger side! We have...!!"

    Muni-Muni does not quite have the mobility required* to look at each contestant's entry, so the staff instead bring the food to her. (* That is, they did try having Muni-Muni go around the stage, except everything was destroyed and then she started eating everything off the table.)

    First up...

    Dean's Carrots and Peanut Butter. Riesenlied can't help but think that'd be a wonderful snack later.

    *omp*

    "M-Muninii!! Mmm! It's carrot and peanut butter! The natural sweetness and crunch in the carrot mixes with that of the chunky peanut butter! What an amazing entry from young Dean Stark! Muni out of 10!"

    Then Avril's Novelty Ice Cream. She's rather impressed with how Avril used the Mirror of De Soto to circumvent the freezing process!

    *omp*

    "M-Muniniinii?!!! This one's almost too beautiful to eat, but since Muni is a judge... it's deep, it's syrupy, it tastes wonderful... Muni out of 10!"

    OS' Microwave Soyrittos come next. Where did the microwave come from? Did it come directly from OS? Did the soyrittos also come from OS? What a scientific wonder!

    *omp*

    "M-Munii...! So, this is the power of science. It is a power that can be used for good or evil. As well as tasty things. Muni has learnt a lot today, so... Muni out of 10!"

    And last, Riesenlied and Noeline's Mom Spaghetti. Muni-Muni only needs to take one look at it before she looks nostalgic and-- HYUUU-- it disappears into her mouth.

    *omp*

    "Nimu, muni-ni..." It's a nostalgic taste, just like mom used to make. Literally in their case! Muni out of 10!"

    "It looks like the judge is extremely satisfied with the challengers' dishes! But our champions are not going to go down just like that! Because first we have--"

    Josephine's Sweet Pickles come out. Muni scrunches her face, as if unsure. Is this going to be the first negative? HYUU--

    *omp*

    "...muni-ni..." M-Muni doesn't like the taste of pickles, but Muni's been training hard to be a bouncy castle. That means puckering up for the sake of the children. Muni out of 10!"

    Shalune's created a Slice of Vegetables, and then putting them into... the Blade Cuisinart (tm). That's a rare and extremely powerful weapon blessed by the power of wizardry.

    *omp*

    "...ninimu..." From the power of science to engineering! Muni hasn't eaten vegetables this thinly cut before!! It's a real Muni out of 10!"

    Marivel's Halloween Cookies... they're even bat-shaped! Muni is unbelievably seduced by this. The bats disappear into the cavernous maw that is Muni.

    "...nimunimu..!!" S-so this is the power of a Crimson Noble! I give this a spooky Muni out of 10!"

    Tidus is... what... what was Tidus doing? He shouldn't be here?! Here it is! Tidus' ???.

    *omp*

    "...ninimu..." Muni can feel it. The exasperation of this young man, powered strong only by his desire for food! Muni can relate. I give Tidus a Muni out of 10!"

    Lunata groans and helps Marina lift what looks like an enormous pastry tower, setting it in front of Muni-Muni. She stares to the competition for a moment, and then smirks as she says, extremely playing the Role:Antagonist right now, "It was a good effort, but with the Mithril Chef, we're going to win this."

    Muni devours delicate puffed layers of filo pastry, crisp and golden on the outside and buttery smooth and soft on the inside... oh! And with layers of ganache and raspberry crumble on the inside! No way!

    "Muniiniimu!" It's a real Muni out of 10!"

    ...

    ...

    The booth operator pushes his opaque glasses up.

    "Everyone got... a Muni out of 10. The contest is a nine way draw, because we can't decipher her meanings any more than you can."

    ...

    ...

    He throws his hands up. "But everyone gets a ride on the Bouncy Castle!!"

    ~ C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ~