Difference between revisions of "2019-07-05: A Treasure Hunt for Three"

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  DG: Ivan has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Gather the Evidence.
 
  DG: Ivan has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Gather the Evidence.
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  <Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.
 
  <Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Latest revision as of 22:00, 18 May 2020

  • Log: 2019-07-05: A Treasure Hunt for Three
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Ivan, Talia
  • Where: The Moonflow
  • Date: July 05, 2019
  • Summary: Lydia invites both Ivan and Talia on a treasure hunting adventure, only to find herself drawn into a Very Serious Argument between the twins!

===============================<* The Moonflow *>===============================

The Moonflow is a large river that bisects Spira's largest island into southern and northern halves. Strange flowers called Moonlilies grow on the Moonflow's banks, attracting pyreflies that gather on its surface at night, making the water sparkle. Although a beautiful area, the weather tends to be overcast more often than not, the souls of the dead providing the most reliable source of illumination.

The primary method of crossing the Moonflow is aboard a shoopuf - an elephantine creature that can swim across the expansive river. The crossing service is funded by the Temple of Yevon and is free of charge.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wcVnJQ-FN4
DG: A party led by Lydia Seren is now entering Mi'ihen Caverns.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Gather the Evidence *>=====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You have gathered your group in order to get to the bottom of what is going   
 down in the Mi'ihen Highroad. All of you, the brave or otherwise Drifters,    
 have clustered together based on the facts you have found and the suspicions  
 that you have had.                                                            
                                                                               
 Like what, you might ask? Here are some trailheads that might lead you in     
 this perilous direction.                                                      
                                                                               
 * The bandits on the Mi'ihen Highroad that have specifically stalked          
 Filgaians and Drifters, largely to the exclusion of natives. Are you going    
 to put up with that?                                                          
 * Perhaps you have been in hot pursuit of those same bandits after a botched  
 attempt to pillage you.                                                       
 * Tracing a sudden supply of somewhat battered record Spheres into the        
 marketplace has pointed to an origin point somewhere between Luca and Djose.  
 * Enigmatic and highly localized rumbles have been traced back into this      
 region.                                                                       
 * Any other reason that might draw a group together.                          
                                                                               
 Work out your method. You approach a limestone sinkhole, easily overlooked    
 but which YOU can see bears a faint hint of light from within. As you         
 descend, cool blue spheres placed here and there provide enough light to see  
 by. It smells damp, and alkaline, but there is a nebulous and subtle          
 impression... a feeling of Filgaia.                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Kaguya's bizarre shipping plan of giving her and Ivan the 'job' of 'investigating ruins' to 'try and find something maybe?' hasn't been all sunshine and roses but for the most part it's been a good time for Lydia who had been fairly depressed in Spira (luditism can do that to someone who is at heart a mechanist). ADVENTURE has been a pretty good distraction from all of that. The fact that Kaguya is conquering the place is a lot harder to avoid now than it was before but for right now she's still using it as the reason for why she's dragging Ivan all over this side of Spira.

This time she's heard of mysterious rumblings around the Mi'ihen highroad. Perhaps all the Sin problems nd murders revealed a new ruin? Hard to say without investigation! So Lydia has, as usual, invited Ivan to come along to investigate this mystery and maybe find some T R E A S U R E as well.

However she, uh, didn't only invite Ivan this time. This time she also invited her pal TALIA around.

She is waiting in front of a limestone sinkhole, Schrodinger peering into it at her side, and is waiting for her guests(??) to arrive.

She sniffs a few times and makes a face and presses her hand on her Silver Medium, frowning to herself in deep thought.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

For someone who is extremely stubborn and obstinate, Ivan can also be strangely suggestible sometimes, so it doesn't take a lot of evidence or particularly convincing argument to get him to come out to investigate some hypothetical, potential ruins with hypothetical, potential treasure.

There's also the fact that he's been maybe possibly plausibly deniably a tiny bit more interested in spending time with Lydia lately. That's kind of where the seed of this whole treasure hunting thing came from, and since the drowning/baseball bat incident it's only gotten worse. He's gotta get that 'openly telling her stuff about himself' thing in check, though, the last few encounters have been ... concerning.

So it's time to dial some of that shit back. As he approaches, he focuses on looking extremely neutral and indifferent about the whole thing, like maybe he forgot he was meeting Lydia here and just showed up by coincidence. (Ivan, that isn't going to be convincing!)

He ambles up and does kind of a ... nod... shrug thing, before turning his attention down to the sinkhole.

"Oh. Hey, Lydia. That's a pretty big hole in the ground, huh."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia has no idea that Kaguya is involved in this. If she did, she would consider that a plus, but not enough to make up for the time that Kaguya tried to kill her.

She walks up last. There is a spring in her step, as she comes along in her sleeveless outfit and pants; she steps along, hands at her side -- hooked around the wide belt that hangs around her hips, with a new dagger and Mirage on it -- and pauses as she sees that someone else is here. That someone is Ivan.

"Hello, Lydia!" she says. And, at first, she ignores her brother. Then, she looks at him... and gives him a stern look for a moment.

"I guess you are beginning to see the error of your ways, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh hey, what a coincidence!" Lydia says. "You happen to be here, Ivan. Well since you 'happen to be here', we might as well go into this horrible death hole together instead of seperately." She nods a few times repeatedly, grinning sharply. "That's right. The horrible death hole that..."

She gives it another look, trailing off. "Yeah, it's a big, uh, hole. And it uh... How to put this...?"

Talia arrives shortly thereafter! She says hello too! And Lydia pretends to be surprised by Talia's arrival.

"Oh!" She says. "Hello Talia! This sure is completely coincidental too that you should be here today. Would you like to go into the giant death hole coincidentally as Ivan and I also coincidentally go into the hole ... coincidentally?"

There is a distinct impression that maybe about 100 percent of this scenario is not coincidental. Her cheery expression falters a little as Talia starts laying into Ivan about, obviously, all the murders he's supposed to be doing but isn't presently actually doing as far as Lydia can tell. "Ahh.... hahaha.... Yeah let's just try to uh put the past behind us and enjoy each other's--I mean, uh, enjoy... the trip down the hole with one another while we are in proximity."

She tosses Schrodinger into the hole.

"Is it safe in there, Schrodinger?"

"Mraoaoow!"

"That's a yes." Lydia says. "I want to see uh...why it feels Filgaia-y. Maybe it's a way back home??"

She hops into the giant death hole.

Seems like Lydia is about as careful as ever.

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

Lydia does her best to humor Ivan in his wish for their interaction to seem impersonal, which only makes him feel kinda called out about the fact that they both know it isn't.

"Hey! You don't have to say all that. I remember being invited, it's fine, it's whatever, this is a thing we do for money! It doesn't have to also be a coincidence! That's just too much. I uh, ... appreciate the though, maybe?"

Only then, Talia arrives! "T-Talia!!" Ivan blanches, first because WHAT IS TALIA DOING HERE WITNESSING HIM IN PERSON IN THE ACT OF HANGING OUT WITH LYDIA ONE ON ONE?? (although... not quite so one on one anymore). DID HE DO ANYTHING EMBARRASSING HE'LL NEVER HEAR THE END OF?

The second thing is because she brought THAT topic up again.

Ivan's demeanor changes, growing prickly and defensive.

"It may not be what you would choose, but I'm allowed to have my own truth, Talia! I'm not going to change my answer just to go along with what you think is right!"

Even if he has subsequently realized Talia's answer DOES make more sense... he'll make his own answer right out of force of will alone!!

"I won't surrender!!"

Lydia attempts some peacekeeping, and to get them back on task.

"Listen, Lydia, you couldn't have known, but Talia and I recently had a life-altering disagreement and it's not something we can just brush aside. You may have to choose a side, even. It's very serious. You see, Talia thinks that if a dog was going to wear pants, it would only wear them on half of its legs."

He crosses his arms and rolls his eyes. "Half its legs! What good are pants on half your legs?"

...ah, right, there was a thing with a sinkhole, too.

"A way ho-...?"

Aaand Lydia has jumped into that hole.

"Wait --! ... uh oh, we better go after her."

He summons his whip, and jumps in.

DG: Ivan has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Gather the Evidence.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Lydia," Talia says gravely, "some things can't be overlooked. But... I will choose to believe this is a coincidence, no?"

She glances sideways at Ivan -- and she frowns sharply at him, and then she folds her arms. "You are being stubborn! You know it is wrong, no? It is a thing that should never be done, Ivan," she says. She sighs... but listens to Lydia explain.

And then her eyebrow twitches. "Pants cover two legs, Vanya!!"

She frowns down at the deep hole, and then steps forward. If she protests Schrodinger being deposited down there, then she doesn't say so. She looks down at the hole for a moment, before she takes a rock -- and tosses it, watching it plink down. She frowns for a second, and then she pulls out a little golden hourglass. She squeezes it between her fingers.

"I am going to hold this, as we jump down," she says. "It will slow time, no? And that way, if we jump into a trap or there are spikes or the evil biting fish, we will have a little lead time because of a time bubble!"

Talia beams... and then leaps down into the hole.

DG: Talia has used her Tool Golden Hourglass toward her party's challenge, Gather the Evidence.
============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Gather the Evidence *>=====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You have gathered your group in order to get to the bottom of what is going   
 down in the Mi'ihen Highroad. All of you, the brave or otherwise Drifters,    
 have clustered together based on the facts you have found and the suspicions  
 that you have had.                                                            
                                                                               
 Like what, you might ask? Here are some trailheads that might lead you in     
 this perilous direction.                                                      
                                                                               
 * The bandits on the Mi'ihen Highroad that have specifically stalked          
 Filgaians and Drifters, largely to the exclusion of natives. Are you going    
 to put up with that?                                                          
 * Perhaps you have been in hot pursuit of those same bandits after a botched  
 attempt to pillage you.                                                       
 * Tracing a sudden supply of somewhat battered record Spheres into the        
 marketplace has pointed to an origin point somewhere between Luca and Djose.  
 * Enigmatic and highly localized rumbles have been traced back into this      
 region.                                                                       
 * Any other reason that might draw a group together.                          
                                                                               
 Work out your method. You approach a limestone sinkhole, easily overlooked    
 but which YOU can see bears a faint hint of light from within. As you         
 descend, cool blue spheres placed here and there provide enough light to see  
 by. It smells damp, and alkaline, but there is a nebulous and subtle          
 impression... a feeling of Filgaia.                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
=======================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 1 *>========================
======================< Results - Gather the Evidence >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Golden Hourglass                    1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Save Point(1)
Effects: Cleanse|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.
DG: Ivan has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Limestone structures such as those underlying the Mi'ihen Highroad often      
 have complex cavern structures caused by the extended action of minor         
 idiosyncrasies of time, water flow, and chemical balance. Sometimes there     
 are quite dramatic and sudden ravines and falls.                              
                                                                               
  You have found a ravine and a fall. The fall descends mistily beyond easy    
 sight. The ravine is four meters across. There was a wooden bridge, but it    
 looks like something happened to it. A pinned piece of paper at the side      
 facing you reads thus:                                                        
                                                                               
 "Whoops! :)                                                                   
 "-E"                                                                          
                                                                               
 Whoops indeed.                                                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Oh uh. Right. Right okay. I mean, we are uncoincidentally here together for work related purposes." She gives Ivan a thumbsup like 'thanks for the save man' even though it sometimes feels the rule of what she's allowed to do alters depending on which one she starts with. Which is okay. It's fine. Just think of it like trying to figure out a machine.

Her expression falters as Ivan mentions what they're actually arguing about which should, normally, be something of a relief because it's not exactly a dire topic but on the other hand she was expecting a dire topic so the fact it's the most inane shit stuns Lydia and shakes her to her core.

Nobles... This is... what the mythical creatures known as nobles speak abboutt with one another.

Or maybe it's just a sibling thing, Lydia, but the fact is Lydia has not grown up with siblings and thus has no idea how siblings get on each other's nerves since Janey and Mikaia are so incredibly sweet Lydia just accepts they are pretty much always correct in all things and doesn't worry about whether dogs wear two or four legged pants.

"Right. I did not know that." She admits with an obscure expressio n on her face before jumping into the hole.

Regardless once she lands (and not in a trap) she picks up Schrodinger and places the cat back on her head. It sure seems like that things just work out for her sometimes don't it?

"What were you going to ask when I jumped down?" She asks beffore pausing a bit and adding, "And I was thinking while I was sinking..."

"Are these dogs standing on their hind legs or are they on all fours? I think we can use science to answer this question."

NO LYDIA.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

If Ivan and Talia had heard Lydia's internal monologue just then, they would probably take some issue with being called nobles. But fortunately(?) they remain blissfully unaware.

The sinkhole turns out to be a pretty reasonable distance downward for a jump--although maybe it feels a bit deeper, because they're falling in slow motion, but nobody breaks their neck or probably any other bones, which is good. Ivan lands in a roll and stands up, looking around at Talia and Lydia to confirm that they are intact.

"I was just asking--you said it might lead you home...?"

Ivan feels rather mixed and uneasy about the idea of Lydia suddenly finding a way home and just maybe kind of leaving forever, and he doesn't really want to explore that feeling or even look directly at it if he can help it, so he dives back into the dog debate.

"They're on all fours! They're still dogs, they just happen to be wearing pants," he says.

The sinkhole has led them into a much larger cavern, filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and other mysterious formations forged by past weathering. The most noticable formation of all is the dramatic ravine that blocks their path before they can make much progress through the cavern at all. It seems that these caverns must have seen some heavy use in the past, because they find the sad remains of a bridge someone must have built a while ago.

Ivan approaches the bridge and grumbles about the note, then begins to size up the ceiling for anything hanging down that he can swing from.

He lashes his whip around an irregularly shaped stalactite and prepares to attempt a swing across.

"Anyone need a ride?"

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Whip toward his party's challenge, Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Pants with four legs are an abomination, Vanya," Talia says. "It is not right. A dog that wears pants would have two-legged pants!"

She practically whines that at him, as her feet set down on the ground -- the last of her jump was slowed with time -- and she comes down to the bottom of the sinkhole. She looks about the cavern with a slow frown, before she looks at the bridge. She considers -- that stalactite would be weakened, if she hit it with Mirage.

Also, it is fun to make Ivan carry her.

She hugs onto him abruptly.

"Vanya! I am too beautiful to walk myself! Carry me to safety!"

DG: Talia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia probably needs to remind herself of the horrible story Ivan told her not too long ago but right now she's mostly upset that she was worried it was something serious. But perhaps it is serious, Lydia? If they became dogs, how would they dress? TWO LEGS OR FOUR LYDIA? TWO LEGS OR FOUR? TWO LEGS OR FOUR??

Well Lydia actually thinks she has a scientific and reasonable answer to this discussion.

But first she focuses on the less important matter. "Yeah," She tells Ivan. "I mean I'd probably tell folks first about it so it isn't like I'd jump in immediately, but I'm getting a kind of Filgaia-y feel here so I'm hoping it'll lead us to an Elw temple and honestly if we found an actual Elw ruin here we'd probably want to go back for more help anyway because the Elw are fucking insane and leave all sorts of death traps and incredibly powerful monsters in their ruins."

She then looks back to Ivan as she activates her skates. She says, "Want to come along? You'd like Filgaia." Even if it's mostly due to it being Lubov free but hey, plenty of work for assassins there too. And you never have to worry about what he feels like ever again.

Well, Lydia isn't really expecting Ivan to take that bait even if she'd like it if he did.

And then despite making that rather personal offer, she goes back to the matter of the dogs.

"Well, what you could do to test for this is to get a group of dogs and put some in two-legged pants and some in four-legged pants. You'd want a wide sample so it's not just well trained dogs, of course, and then you see which dogs are happier after, I don't know, a week of wearing these pants."

She starts skating forward, pausing as the group comes upon a ravine. She has no idea who 'E' is but she adds, "The best design for the pants wins. That's what dogs should wear." She says. "Though I should probably warn about dogs possibly shitting themselves in the pants and--"

She pauses as Ivan offers a ride and she--

--oh okay Talia. Yeah. Go ahead. Come to think of it, asking for that is way too embarrassing. She marvels at Talia's ability to make this choice and besides which what is she going to do? Protest it? Get into some kind of jealous rivalry with the dude's sister? That's horrifying. No thanks!

So she says, "See you on the other side!" And she just skates and jumps it.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Limestone structures such as those underlying the Mi'ihen Highroad often      
 have complex cavern structures caused by the extended action of minor         
 idiosyncrasies of time, water flow, and chemical balance. Sometimes there     
 are quite dramatic and sudden ravines and falls.                              
                                                                               
  You have found a ravine and a fall. The fall descends mistily beyond easy    
 sight. The ravine is four meters across. There was a wooden bridge, but it    
 looks like something happened to it. A pinned piece of paper at the side      
 facing you reads thus:                                                        
                                                                               
 "Whoops! :)                                                                   
 "-E"                                                                          
                                                                               
 Whoops indeed.                                                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
========================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 2 *>=========================
=======================< Results - Pnetka Uid Hu Taduin >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Whip                                2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)
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.

"Dogs have twice the legs and would need twice the pants! It doesn't matter if it's an abomination!" Ivan protests. While this argument seems sound enough out loud, he made the mistake of actually picturing a four-legged pants dog and found it very weird and confusing, like the dog had been partially submerged in some pants. But that doesn't matter. What matters is the principle of the thing, which is the crucial importance of the 1:1 pants to leg ratio.

"If the dog decided to wear shoes with the pants, it would have four shoes, so it needs four pants, too!"

As Lydia explains what she'd do if she actually found a means to return to her home world, she also invites Ivan to come along with to Filgaia. He bluescreens at the thought and blinks a few times before shaking his head.

"No, I definitely can't go to another world." He can barely handle this world. He can barely handle the freedom and culture shock of Spira. Let alone actual freedom, and a whole different world to deal with. A dying world!

Ivan offers rides across the ravine, and Talia clings to him dramatically insisting on her delicateness.

"Yeah, yeah, that's really convinciii...."

Ivan cringes as Lydia decides to meanwhile JUMP THE RAVINE IN SKATES.

"HEY LYDIA THAT THAT DOESN'T SEEM SAFE--" She soars over the gap and lands safely on the other side in the middle of him yelling that. "OKAY MAYBE IT WAS, NEVER MIND."

He lets out a long breath and then makes the swing he was prepping, carrying Talia across.

"There you go! It's fun to swing around and stuff manually sometimes instead of just poofing, yeah? Do you get a 'whoosh' when you teleport or is it just like, 'aw, I'm already there?'"

He hesitates, with sudden worry. "That's not me saying it's fun to swing on the whip, Lydia, I'm just saying Talia might find it fun!!"

DG: Talia has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Crate Storage *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 and some of them are indeed light feeling and marked with a prominent "F."    
 If you can manage to avoid having any "H" crates on top of "F" crates, there  
 are some coconut-and-honey biscuits in the little nook with a portable        
 kettle... but if you are in haste, of course, what do you care?               
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Treasure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I do not know who these Elw are, but they sound like they are confusing," Talia opines to Lydia. She sighs -- and there is a somewhat conflicted thought at returning to Filgaia. It might, in fact, be a better and safer place; it is, however, not the same world as the one she comes from. Even if, really, Spira is nothing like Meribus or Glenwood.

These are the difficult thoughts Talia grapples with on her way across. She says, instead: "Maybe science could solve this...?"

She steps away from Ivan on the other side of the ravine -- looks at him for a moment -- and then she smiles for a second. "Hmm, well... it is like I split into strands of darkness and am in six or seven places at once and everything feels airy and fuzzy, no?" Talia asks. "It is quaint, doing it normally!"

She makes a face at Ivan's insistence that Lydia should not find it fun. 'Really?' she mouths to him.

Then she turns, and saunters ahead into the next room... and finds a series of wooden crates. Some are stacked with "H" and some with "F." She pauses, makes a face, and then--

She looks up at a nook. "...I think we can move these crates, she says. To make a way up, to get the cave biscuits. I love cave biscuits!" she declares, as she starts moving some crates. "Vanya, smash ones that are in my way, please."

DG: Talia has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Crate Storage.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Haha, yeah, though I mean the one I know is really cool but I'm not sure why they make their places the way they do so--" Lydia babbles as she spins around on one foot using just one wheel of her leftmost skate while INCREDIBLY perilously close to the edge of the ravine. She manages to not fall in and die but her cavalier attitude might be more because of what she has survived rather than something she would do if she wasn't, you know, whatever she is.

But then again this is Lydia. Maybe she did this shit all along.

"Were you worried about me?" She asks because now that Ivan is in a giant sinkhole of death mysterious cavern, it will be pretty hard for him to just flat out leave. But she doesn't stop there, barely pausing at all before adding, "Well if you don't go back to Filgaia, do you want me to stick around on Lunar? I don't know if Spira is really my jam but the whole Glenwood area was pretty good to me. I wouldn't mind going back." While the other one was maybe a bit teasing, she asks that part very matter of factly.

She then considers the dogs more. "Mm." about dog-pants. "yeah this is why the Guardians gave us science." She nods firmly even though the Baskar aren't exactly technological masterminds either, living more like the Spirans than anything.

She imagines taking the whip next time on the way out but shakes her head to clear it when Talia mentions they need to break stuff.

"Okay." She says, looking towards Ivan because they have been in enough adventures to know what comes next.

Out comes the metal bat and--

--CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG!

But at least she probably is going to actually smash some stuff.

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

Were you worried about me?

Ivan flusters. "What do you mean, worried? I just thought you might fall in the hole and die or something."

That's what worry is, Ivan! But if you say it in different words and an indignant tone of voice, maybe no one will notice that.

And then, before he has recovered, he is asked about his opinion on Lydia not leaving, but instead staying on Lunar.

"I don't know why I should have a vote on that! Don't just give me a vote upfront! You can ask everyone else you know and if somehow after you ask everybody else it comes out to a gigantic tie, then you can come ask me and I'll break the tie."

Talia suggests using Lydia's scientific approach to settle the question of dog pants. Ivan is not sure what he thinks of that approach. Is the happiness of the dogs the primary metric by which you should judge the appropriateness of their pants? In the history of human pants, has the happiness of the wearer ever figured into the design?

"Maybe you could measure something, but I don't think dogs will be that happy in pants either way. They would probably keep escaping the pants and throw everything off."

Talia explains her teleportation experience.

Ivan wrinkles his nose. "Turning into multiple strands of darkness sounds horrible, Talia. You should get a whip. It would be a lot less existentially unsettling."

Talia directs Ivan to smash some boxes to clear the way to the cave snacks. While he doesn't hesitate to summon forth his hammer and do so (butterfly meme: 'Is this cleaning?') he pauses amid the smashing to look back over his shoulder at her with a frown.

"Listen, I don't want to just keep yelling at everyone not to enjoy themselves on this mission, but are you really going to eat biscuits from a cave, Talia?? Have you done that before?"

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Warhammer toward his party's challenge, Crate Storage.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Crate Storage *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 and some of them are indeed light feeling and marked with a prominent "F."    
 If you can manage to avoid having any "H" crates on top of "F" crates, there  
 are some coconut-and-honey biscuits in the little nook with a portable        
 kettle... but if you are in haste, of course, what do you care?               
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Treasure===========================================
========================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 3 *>=========================
==========================< Results - Crate Storage >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                5 --(3)--> 8                   Pass
Warhammer                           3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 40 --(25)--> 65                Pass
Conditions: Tire(2)|Treasure(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Vouivre Nest *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
                                                                               
 https://i.imgur.com/HzEOZWf.png                                               
                                                                               
 Fiends, of course, do not lay eggs, nor do they reproduce their kind as do    
 more conventional beings, such as Drifters or chocobos. Nonetheless, here we  
 are. A heap of more or less ovoid stones lays in the middle of this chamber   
 and a pair of furious vouivres take offense to your presence. Violent         
 offense.                                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Many a box is destroyed as Lydia and Ivan begin smashing them with bat and hammr. Talia stacks a few boxes, as she works. Her eyes turn towards Ivan and she tilts her head for a second. "Filgaia is nice!" she says. "It is worth seeing once. Well... sort of nice. It is complicated, no?"

But she doesn't regret going.

At the end, she climbs up the boxes. There, on the last one, she finds a note. She reads it over; she pauses for a moment. "It seems someone left us instructions, no? To stack them." Talia throws the note over her shoulder.

When she comes down, she has a biscut in her mouth. She is already eating it. This is her answer to Ivan.

But she holds out the box of cave biscuits, as an offering.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I didn't!" Lydia tells Ivan even though this is all very obvious. "I made the jump!" She did in fact make the jump. Why is she bragging with that huge smile on her face oh no.

But she does spin around and start skating backwards--she didn't put that away--as she continues to chatter around. She takes one of the cave biscuits from the box as she skates by and puts it in her mouth, chewing noisily but this is someone who bit into a living person ferociously so maybe she isn't the sort of person to take cues from on what to chomp on.

"I guess we messed that one up. But that's okay. The point of the adventure is the journey not the end and I'm sure that whomever left those instructions will understand."

She flicks some shrapnel off her shoulder.

Still skating backwards she considers Talia's own answer on going to Filgaia. It seems despite everything, Glenwood really is their home. This gets HER thinking too. Would she be willing to stay in a literally medieval land for Ivan, someone whose own feelings manage to be both obvious and frustratingly out of reach?

Maybe she doesn't want to worry about that right now, she thinks, as she instead says, "Come on, I'm just curious, I don't want to make up my mind before I knoo-woahah!"

Her skates suddenly hit an 'egg' and she lands against a bunch of 'eggs' and squishes them into fine dust.

"Gahh... that smarts." Lydia grumps before sitting herself up and looking behind her.

At the two now very angry fiends.

Lydia shrieks and runs on all fours to throw herself behind the actual fighty types but the fiends are rushing right after her!

Hmm... she is on all fours in this moment and is only using a two-legged pair of pants....hmm. Hmmmmmm.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Vouivre Nest.
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Filgaia doesn't really sound that nice based on any story anyone has told about it, but I can understand home being home." It's not like Ivan could begrudge Lydia her home if she wanted it back. Hell, even if she took her time giving everyone a heads up and a goodbye, she'd probably be gone before he managed to get any sort of complaint into words.

On an unrelated note, Lydia made the chasm jump, and assures (or reassures?) him of this fact!

"Yeah, okay, you did, I won't hassle you again unless you try to jump an even bigger chasm." Maybe.

Suddenly, everyone is all relaxed and eating cave biscuits except Ivan, who shakes his head at the offered box.

"Who left us the instructions? Did they make the mess? Why did both of you guys want cave biscuits?" Overall, Ivan did not understand this puzzle. But at least he got to smash some stuff.

Ivan is relieved to be spared from having to answer Lydia's question on what world he thinks she should live on -- by the party literally being attacked by monsters. Sometimes Ivan's values are kind of questionable.

He nods a little at Talia to suggest they should each take the closest fiend, and rushes forward, calling a short sword into hand as he does so. He leaps into the air, stabbing down at one of the creatures.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Memory toward his party's challenge, Vouivre Nest.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It is easy to do, n?" Talia says, in regards to messing up. She turns, lowering the biscuit in her mouth as Lydia skates ahead... and trips. Her eyebrow lifts for a moment. "Lydia, be careful, no?"

She says that, and then turns to Ivan. "Filgaia has its upsides! They are just, ah, different because the world is dying and--"

There is a roar. Talia turns, to look at the two huge, lizard-like fiends. Ivan runs for one. Talia reaches into her pouch, and pulls out a big round iron sphere... with a plant-like leaf atop the top. She tosses it, and it begins to glow orange.

"Queen Anastasia has issued a royal decree: not today, punks!" Talia yells.

The bomb explodes on the Vouivre, with a colossal blast -- a huge puff of smoke -- and the words:

    KA-BOOM!

DG: Talia has used her Tool Royal Bomb toward her party's challenge, Vouivre Nest.
============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Vouivre Nest *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
                                                                               
 https://i.imgur.com/HzEOZWf.png                                               
                                                                               
 Fiends, of course, do not lay eggs, nor do they reproduce their kind as do    
 more conventional beings, such as Drifters or chocobos. Nonetheless, here we  
 are. A heap of more or less ovoid stones lays in the middle of this chamber   
 and a pair of furious vouivres take offense to your presence. Violent         
 offense.                                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
=======================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 4 *>========================
==========================< Results - Vouivre Nest >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         3 --(8)--> 11                  Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                8 --(3)--> 11                  Pass
Memory                              3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               3 --(3)--> 6                   Pass
Royal Bomb                          3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 65 --(20)--> 85                Pass
Conditions: Tire(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: 
==============================< 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.
DG: Ivan has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Odessa Guards! *>========================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In a moment, much becomes clear. In a narrow turning passageway, you          
 abruptly run into a half-dozen individuals wearing jackets in a certain and   
 distinctive style, as well as lightweight ushanka hats. The uniform, in       
 short, of Odessa.                                                             
                                                                               
 Inexplicably there is another man with them. Thick of beard, seeming to be    
 in his undershirt. This man is one you may have met in another world. His     
 name is Dario. He has a big fat gunsmoke pistol.                              
                                                                               
 He shoots first.                                                              
                                                                               
 The battle will be brief and vicious, come what may. And afterwards --        
                                                                               
 What the hell is that noise?                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia scampers back behind Talia And Ivan. Naturally having been caught literally flat on her ass, she is not much help in the coming battle . Luckily she does not really need to be because Talia and Ivan are honestly very talentrd in this regard. Lydia gets a front row seat in seeing how the two would fight when actually working together. Ivan skewers one with his blade even as Talia literally explodes one in a colorful spray that ends with both beasts bursting into a small swarm of pyreflies.

Lydia pushes herself back up to her feet and says, "Whew," as she...yeah...goes back to skating backwards having learned absolutely no lessons despite claiming to be a scientist.

"Filgaia isnt completely awful. We don't have the spiritual poison air like in Glenwood though the food isn't as good."

She then smiles over to Ivan. "I figured you only live once right?"

She exhales faintly and adds, "You know..." She says. "Thinking about it, I don't know if I would be content with one world." She grins wildly here. "Filgaia and Lunar, I'll take them both!"

Though she can only be in one place at a time but well this seems to be her eay of letting Ivan off the hook even as she brags about her grand ambition.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan feels vaguely proud to actually know what the Queen Anastasia stuff is all about, now. But...does Talia just carry plant bombs around with her wherever she goes? That's a thought he wishes he could unthink.

It's true that the twins have a certain coordination to them as they take down the two fiends; they trained together for some time!

As the dust clears with the fiends being taken out, there is a moment of calm to continue to discuss Filgaia again. Ivan takes issue with the 'good points' about it Lydia points out.

"One of those things was just the absence of a negative, and the other one wasn't even positive at all..."

Lydia then suggests she might just choose BOTH worlds.

"I...I mean if you can handle the logistics of all that..."

Living in two worlds does seem rough. But Ivan is grateful to be let off the hook.

That's when they suddenly bump into a bunch of uniformed individuals spoiling for a fight. The specifics of their identities and affiliations are lost on Ivan, but he knows they need to be fought off for the group to proceed safely!

He summons a fireball and bowls it down the narrow passageway to try to disrupt the gunfire, and summons a new weapon, a glaive.

With a short, not-very-tactical pause to gesture at it to Talia with a 'look! I got a new weapon!' expression on his face, he charges at their assailants with it to try to drive them back.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Memory toward his party's challenge, Odessa Guards!.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia watches Ivan and Lydia's banter, with a bit of a smile on her face. This, she thinks, is adorable. She is almost willing to overlook Ivan's recent decisions and insistence that dogs wear four-legged pants.

But only almost.

She follows after them -- and then she slows to a stop as she catches the uniformed people. There is a brief glance at Ivan. "Good job!" she calls out, before she looks -- and sees the bearded, cowboy hat-wearing man with a revolver behind them. Her red eyes narrow.

"YOU!" she shouts. "You survived! You should know I am not over the things that Janus Cascade pulled, no? So--"

She hurls another leaf-topped bomb. "Suffer the royal wrath of Queen Anastasia!"

Talia, perhaps, has began taking to clearing out dungeons by hurling bombs at everything.

DG: Talia has used her Tool Royal Bomb toward her party's challenge, Odessa Guards!.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia has considered it further. Didn't she have a dream given unto her? A destiny that says 'you will get to travel the stars if you leave your village today'? She remembers that dream vividly still but she knows as well that destiny can be thwarted. You can deny the fate before you and sometimes it's as simple as deciding that there's something you care more about than what you dreamed about for most of your childhood.

Hasn't Gallows done the same?

But still if she had her way, she'd somehow have both. And if she couldn't have both...

Lydia skids to a stop and looks toward Ivan's glaive. "Sweet--what's going o---oonnnnn..."

Her voice trails off as she looks towards Dario. She stares at him.

She briefly envisions the man she killed, who was probably actually maybe a good man. But more than that, she thinks of Janus Cascade...

...and that look in his eyes when without hesitation or even any thought behind it, shot her in the head. He looked at her like shooting her in the head was a mildly frustrating chore.

She straightens up and starts approaching Dario wordlessly.

"Oh it's you--" Dario begins but shuts himself up quick when Lydia swings her hands out to the side, her fingers transmogrifying into a set of thick blades.

Dario tarts backpedaling and firing repeatedly into her with a shotgun, but Lydia keeps moving forward.

Blades start pushing out of her body all around from her shoulders to her knees--even to her face, though her eyes remain untouched and unobscured. Soon even her hair is twisting and sharpening as she keeps pushing through the shotgun blasts.

Dario screams and Lydia takes one step forward, nearly into melee range and--

--trips over a rock and lands flat on her face.

She lays there for a minute then the blades retract back into her body sheepishly.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Odessa Guards!.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Odessa Guards! *>========================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In a moment, much becomes clear. In a narrow turning passageway, you          
 abruptly run into a half-dozen individuals wearing jackets in a certain and   
 distinctive style, as well as lightweight ushanka hats. The uniform, in       
 short, of Odessa.                                                             
                                                                               
 Inexplicably there is another man with them. Thick of beard, seeming to be    
 in his undershirt. This man is one you may have met in another world. His     
 name is Dario. He has a big fat gunsmoke pistol.                              
                                                                               
 He shoots first.                                                              
                                                                               
 The battle will be brief and vicious, come what may. And afterwards --        
                                                                               
 What the hell is that noise?                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
========================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 5 *>=========================
==========================< Results - Odessa Guards! >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         11 --(5)--> 16                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                11 --(0)--> 11                 Pass
Memory                              3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               6 --(0)--> 6                   Pass
Royal Bomb                          3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 85 --(0)--> 85                 Pass
Conditions: Reckless(2)|Wound(1)
Effects: 
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has passed this challenge! The party gained 0 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: Talia has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - Break the Sphere Extractor! *>==================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Ah. That is that noise.                                                       
                                                                               
 The device makes sense at a glance, which much machinery does not. It is      
 cobbled together from local machina -- huge drums bearing massive blades of   
 thick iron and glittering hardened blade-edges turn and rumble, scorching     
 through limestone, chewing methodically. You can see the Sphere Extractor     
 move at a rate of approximately one yard per thirty seconds as you come into  
 the space where it is working.                                                
                                                                               
 The output runs down a range of chutes, which rattle and rumble. Smaller      
 grinders break up larger chunks. The name Sphere Extractor is well earned     
 because these rattletrap pipes and chutes seem to be separating out           
 glittering spheres, embedded in the rock, and leaving billowing dust and      
 gravel in their wake. The air here is barely breathable between the stench    
 of the thing's operation and the dust it produces.                            
                                                                               
 Nevertheless, here it is -- the secret in the bowels of this base, the thing  
 which has been protected. And now it is not protected. It seems to be         
 operating on automatic pilot.                                                 
                                                                               
 mess it up                                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Maim, Overwhelm==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Things get a little bit frantic, with bomb plants going off and Lydia recognizing a score that still needs settling, stepping forward, and transforming into a terrifying amalgamation of blades as she absorbs a concerning amount of gunfire, and tripping and going BOMPH onto the ground at the last moment. HONESTLY IVAN IS HAVING A LITTLE BIT OF TROUBLE FOCUSING ON HIS OWN OPPONENTS but he does his best.

The combined efforts of the trio scatter the Odessa Guards, leaving them to deal with some... other stuff. One of the other stuff is the mysterious noise, but the first one that seems to need attention is just kind of. What the hell just happened?

"You know that guy?!" Ivan says to both of them, while trying to also surreptitiously hover around Lydia and get a sense of her current situation in case she is dying or having an existential crisis about not dying, or having trouble regaining her shape, or any number of things, really."Hey, so are you..."

But also, there is kind of a noise...

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"He worked with Janus Cascade," Talia says, with a worried glance at Lydia. She frowns for a moment -- worried but more familiar with this. "Lydia, are you all right?"

She watches the last of them -- including Dario -- flee. And then she considers the noise, walking a little further in, and looking around a corner.

The strange machinery at the end of the cavern draws a long, confused look from Talia. She approaches it a little slowly -- trying to make sense of what the Sphere Extractor is doing. She frowns at it. "I never understood these things," she says. "But... it doesn't seem like a thing that should be here, no? We should destroy it!"

Talia reaches to her pouch... and pauses. "Ah, I ran out of bombs, though."

She shrugs -- then lifts her hand. A magical circle swirls up under her feet -- and then she unleashes a large spike of ice that flies at the Extractor's mechanical guts.

DG: Talia has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Break the Sphere Extractor!.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

BOMPH is precisely the noise it made.

Lydia answers the questions as to whether or not she's okay belatedly but with a very basic thumbsup from her hand. Then she stands herself up and says, "Oof." She flails her arms a bit and manages to steady herself. "Okay cool.. Great. We won by working together!"

Well two people worked together the other one was eating dirt.

She briefly spits out a not-small amount of silver fluid from her mouth, wipes at her face with her wrist and then steps forward to examine the machinery. And uh--

--it's honestly hard to tell if she's trying to dismantle the Sphere Extractor or just take it apart to see how it works but there's a distinct possibility that the answer is 'both'.

Sometimes she even clobbers the thing with a bat when she has trouble breaking (ER I MEAN REMOVING) a piece of the machinery off so she can examine it more cleanly.

"Anyway his boss shot me in the face." Lydia says. "So I'm mad at him." She is trying to play it off as just that, at least before pausing and looking towards Ivan even as she bashes the machines a few more times just because she likes the noise of it.

"I'm okay." She tells him, smiling again. "It's fine."

IS IT?

"Just surprised me is all." She adds, as if feeling she has to be extra convincing here.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Break the Sphere Extractor!.
<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I remember some stories about Janus Cascade," Ivan says. The name has come up a few times, and it sounds like that person was rather nasty.

They apparently have some machinery to smash. Ivan joins the others in attacking the sphere extractor, as Lydia gives more assurances of her hypothetical okayness.

"Okay, yeah..." Ivan seems hesitant. He is also bashing away at machinery, with his hammer. "It's just that you did get shot a bunch of times and you were a lot of knives there for a minute. Being mad about being shot in the face makes sense, though, yeah." Apparently getting your face melted off is not quite so upsetting? For some reason? Maybe Lydia turned into a blade porcupine about that on her own time and had it out of her system by the next time she saw him.

DG: Ivan has used his Tool Warhammer toward his party's challenge, Break the Sphere Extractor!.
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - Break the Sphere Extractor! *>==================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Ah. That is that noise.                                                       
                                                                               
 The device makes sense at a glance, which much machinery does not. It is      
 cobbled together from local machina -- huge drums bearing massive blades of   
 thick iron and glittering hardened blade-edges turn and rumble, scorching     
 through limestone, chewing methodically. You can see the Sphere Extractor     
 move at a rate of approximately one yard per thirty seconds as you come into  
 the space where it is working.                                                
                                                                               
 The output runs down a range of chutes, which rattle and rumble. Smaller      
 grinders break up larger chunks. The name Sphere Extractor is well earned     
 because these rattletrap pipes and chutes seem to be separating out           
 glittering spheres, embedded in the rock, and leaving billowing dust and      
 gravel in their wake. The air here is barely breathable between the stench    
 of the thing's operation and the dust it produces.                            
                                                                               
 Nevertheless, here it is -- the secret in the bowels of this base, the thing  
 which has been protected. And now it is not protected. It seems to be         
 operating on automatic pilot.                                                 
                                                                               
 mess it up                                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Maim, Overwhelm==========================================
========================<* Mi'ihen Caverns - Round 6 *>=========================
===================< Results - Break the Sphere Extractor! >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         16 --(5)--> 21                 Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan                                11 --(5)--> 16                 Pass
Warhammer                           3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               6 --(5)--> 11                  Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Lydia Seren                 85 --(35)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Maim|Overwhelm|Reckless(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Lydia Seren has successfully explored Mi'ihen Caverns!
=============================<* Mi'ihen Caverns *>==============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - The Arsenal Of... Something *>==================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Discovery |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 After busting up the Sphere Extractor, your retreat is swift but relaxed.     
 You probably did not take out all of the Odessa agents, but you can depart    
 before anyone on patrol gets back.                                            
                                                                               
 And you hit the jackpot, tiger, because on your way out you pass through      
 another store room, and this one isn't full of enigmatic crates of            
 something-or-other. No, it is full with open crates absolutely laden with     
 gunsmoke ARM components as well as fresh and military-quality bayonets and    
 sabers aplenty, along with barrels of cartridge brass. There is also a small  
 keg of gunpowder and some gunsmithing tools on a nearby bench.                
                                                                               
 If you're short of parts...                                                   
                                                                               
 ((The inexplicable bounty of gun parts and mass-produced blades can be used   
 as justification to upgrade or adjust any ARM techniques you may have. Keep   
 in mind that it is all "gunsmoke" ARMs -- none of the really fancy            
 magitechnological stuff.))                                                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It is a good reason to dislike someone," Talia opines. She glances at Ivan, and shrugs her shoulders; she isn't sure if Lydia is as fine as indicated...

...but, it would not be nice to say that and put her on the spot.

At the end of the day, they have a load of scrap. Talia pauses, as she hears some shouting -- and turns, looking down another passage. She spots the crate full of gunsmoke ARMs; it doesn't actually register as significant to her.

"Well! That was fascinating," she says. "We should leave before more Odessa people show up and decide to murder us, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Right, right." to Ivan in a distracted manner. "I mean it just makes sense to be upset about being shot in the face." though melting the face is much better? It doesn't seem like it honestly.

Regardless she does seem to eventually get what Ivan is getting at and says, "Oh! Oh no. It's not like that. You can set me on fire if you want uh--- I mean. Wait. No. That's not what I'm trying to say."

She exhales briefly and adds, "I mean, like, uh, when he shot me, he hit me point blank in the face so it, uh, it nearly killed me actually."

She rubs the back of her neck. "Cause I guess it disrupted the whole...system? Anyway," She says. "It's ifne. Everything's fine."

And then she whistles faintly at all the gunsmoke arms and grins widely. "How bout that...!"

She starts gathering up weapons. She doesn't have a cart so there's only so much she can take with her but she seems pretty excited to have TECH she can take apart and mess with even if it's only just a bunch of guns that might not even be missed all that much.

"Our mysterious sponsor might actually want to know about this."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is not sure he's very reassured, especially considering the offhand and quickly retracted permission to set Lydia on fire. But the distinction about almost dying seems to add some clarity to the situation. Whatever terrible experience(s) Ivan put Lydia through, it didn't seem to endanger her whole existence.

There is a reprieve, though, from these grim matters, when Lydia finds Some Tech Stuff!

"Hey, is that stuff actually useful? I don't know what it is. Lydia, do you know what the stuff is?"

He helps gather some of it up, regardless. She will have time to try to explain it in a way he might both remember and understand on the way back. Chances probably aren't too good of that succeeding, though.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh yeah," Lydia says. "They're parts. To make guns. Weaker versions of the kind that almost killed me."

why is she so chipper about it