Difference between revisions of "2019-08-23: An Atypical Escort Mission"

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(Created page with "*'''Log: An Atypical Escort Mission''' *'''Cast:''' Character :: Josephine Lovelace, Character :: Emeralda Kasim, Character :: Fei Fong Wong, Character :: Elhaym...")
 
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     Fortunately -- between the light, Fei's map, and Emeralda's general instinct of the way forward, they work out a path that is less likely to lead to immediate trouble for this schlep of a trek.
 
     Fortunately -- between the light, Fei's map, and Emeralda's general instinct of the way forward, they work out a path that is less likely to lead to immediate trouble for this schlep of a trek.
 
     The fact that Elly's got her eyes on the sky -- and whether or not they're about to have some atmospheric trouble -- is also a good thing to have on their side.
 
     The fact that Elly's got her eyes on the sky -- and whether or not they're about to have some atmospheric trouble -- is also a good thing to have on their side.
� Logging to file "C:\Electra\Logs\2019\josie_crosses+the_plains.txt" started
 
 
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Latest revision as of 22:03, 18 May 2020


DG: A party led by Josephine Lovelace is now entering Thunder Plains.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Everstorm *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The far borders of Guadosalam eventually give way to the barren rock of the
 Thunder Plains. Here, the storm holds sway: respect it, fear it, but never
 underestimate it.

 In the short distance one of the lightning rod towers receives a strike; the
 dark heavens are briefly illuminated.

 Following the towers provides the safer -- though by no means risk-free --
 route through this land, but not all the towers are completely functional
 anymore. Some are more reliable than others, but while hearsay and rumor may
 suggest this or that path, they're no replacement for evaluating a route for
 oneself. Which way will you head?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Exhaust========================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    The trek to Almaryyt had been a success, if one that had been somewhat complicated by the ruins... status. Still, they had come out of the place with what she had been looking for and then some, and also alive and still in one piece. It's these little things that matter in a dig, that serve to separate the amateurs from the professionals.

    Or so Josie has said, that is.

    With her prize secured, the time has come, the woman has decided, to move her ARM from its hiding place near to the Thunder Plains... north.

    Which means 'through the Thunder Plains'.

    There are reasons she's been putting this off.

    These reasons are largely 'because it means crossing the Thunder Plains with a large metallic object'.

    But, in the end...

    In the end, this is the safest choice for her beloved giant gun, which to the uninitiated of Spira, would easily be mistaken as 'an abomination of Machina'.

    So here we are now, as she stands facing the storm, wind whipping a few loose locks of her hair.

    "Glad you all felt like helping li'l old me out," she says, flashing a grin at the other three.
    She may have traded favors and promises for this one.

"So, let's see... we'll want to move quickly, naturally," she says, shading her eyes. Close -- too close -- lightning strikes a tower.

    "...And stay close to the towers," she finishes, after a moment's silence. Hefting the cannon, she grunts briefly with the effort before getting it up in her arms. Moving it jostles it slightly under the burlap it's wrapped in; red and orange lights shine through and dance on the possible directions they could head.
    Some have more recent footprints than others. Perhaps it might be a hint...

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Superfluous Lights toward her party's challenge, The Everstorm.
<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

Emeralda is unafraid of the Thunder Plains. Perhaps lightning is a lot less scary when you can summon it up yourself, but she's never been afraid of thunder.

Still...

"It's loud here," Emeralda says, after that thunderclap. She shakes her head as if clearing it, looks up into the sky, then looks back at Josephine. "And that's so bright! I guess that means we want to get off it quick!"

Emeralda gives Josie's cannon (which she has tried to peek under the burlap no less than four times) another look-over, and then helps push to get it up off the ground, so that Josie can carry it. Emeralda did not volunteer to help carry it, either because it's too heavy for her or because she's just too short to actually really control an item of its size.

So instead she darts ahead, looking at footprints, and then back toward the group. Forward and back. "Are we going this way?" she asks, because there's enough routes that she isn't sure.

DG: Emeralda Kasim has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Everstorm.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei is pretty afraid of the thunder plains for a variety of reasons but the biggest reason is probably the idea of having to constantly be on the lookout of being electrocuted. It isn't a pleasant way to die. Or a pleasant way to survive for that matter.

"Hey anytime. Did you get the glorbs I left outside your room?" Fei asks. "I guess they were supposed to go to you anyway but uh... just don't ask where we found 'em."

He has vaguely mapped out the locations off the known towers which he periodically lances at.

Fei genuinely likes Josephine so all she had to do was ask but Fei would probably appreciate being treated to a meal or something.

he IS a little worried about Emeralda being struck by lightning but tries not to think about it. Emeralda probably knows more what's dangerous for her than he does after all.

"Uhh--it might be right? Hold on--" Pageflip pageflip.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Artist's Toolkit toward his party's challenge, The Everstorm.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Nobody died! That is a commonly held marker of success, and Elly feels that it holds true. It might have been nice had they discovered, for instance, a giant bucket of money; or failing that, some sort of a magical jar that gushes forth either Gears or sky pods.

But now...

"Yeah," Elly says. "It's a shame we couldn't rent a chocobo... but I suppose they don't do this sort of thing, and we certainly don't know how to train them."

Elly stays nearish to Emeralda, but seems to have little of note to share with regards to the whole lightning thing.

Maybe she's going to draw it away from Emeralda if she has to...!

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Everstorm.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Everstorm *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The far borders of Guadosalam eventually give way to the barren rock of the
 Thunder Plains. Here, the storm holds sway: respect it, fear it, but never
 underestimate it.

 In the short distance one of the lightning rod towers receives a strike; the
 dark heavens are briefly illuminated.

 Following the towers provides the safer -- though by no means risk-free --
 route through this land, but not all the towers are completely functional
 anymore. Some are more reliable than others, but while hearsay and rumor may
 suggest this or that path, they're no replacement for evaluating a route for
 oneself. Which way will you head?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Exhaust========================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 1 *>=========================
==========================< Results - The Everstorm >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Superfluous Lights                  1   Wits    Effects: Enlighten and Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Artist's Toolkit                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace 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: Emeralda Kasim has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Bad Visibility *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Between the lightning, the Fiends, and the unpleasant terrain, one would
 think the matter of the rain perhaps of a lesser concern. Unfortunately, one
 would think incorrectly: the rain has picked up, obscuring your visibility.

 It's impossible to tell now where the next tower is -- or indeed, if the
 next few feet will be easy walking, or if you will be at risk of an ambush
 by Fiends. You'll have to think your next steps through carefully, or
 consider alternative means of determining where you're headed.
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    There may, in fact, be a meal in the offering.
    At some point.
    Assuming Josie doesn't 'forget'.

    "Glorbs?"

    There's a pause. She may be attempting to think back.

    "I... don't think so?"

    She may continue the mental math on this one for a while yet. Somewhere, from the point of view of a theoretical player, Josephine is swarmed by a cloud of question marks.

    "Wouldn't want to bring a bird in here anyway," Josie says to Elly, her smile growing thin. Notably, Penelope isn't here, possibly for precisely that reason. "Besides. We can make time enough on foot. They say if you step lively-like and keep close to the towers, there's nothing to worry about~"

    Josie, for her part, glances between the paths. She cranes her neck, as if to see better what they're looking at (it's difficult to see around a cannon this big.)

    Her gaze settles on Emeralda. "Got... a good idea, kiddo? Huh... should give you a name," she huffs, beginning to head on forward semi-blindly. "Nickname. ...Nickname is what I meant."

    Fortunately -- between the light, Fei's map, and Emeralda's general instinct of the way forward, they work out a path that is less likely to lead to immediate trouble for this schlep of a trek.
    The fact that Elly's got her eyes on the sky -- and whether or not they're about to have some atmospheric trouble -- is also a good thing to have on their side.

<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

"Well, I figured we could go the way everybody goes and then we won't get lost even if you have to carry that," Emeralda says, reasonably. "And I have a name! It is Emeralda. I guess some people call me Emmy...?" She looks toward Fei and Elly for confirmation. "And yeah! We found some spheres. I didn't know they were yours."

As the group follows the prints, the rain starts to pick up.

At first Emeralda doesn't mind the rain. A bit of rain is refreshing. But as it starts to come down harder, it also starts to come down colder, and pretty soon she has decided she hates it. Her hair spreads out and upward into a rough arc; when she hunches forward, it works almost like an umbrella, except without sticking up quite so high.

It also isn't really helping because it's still hitting Emeralda even if it's not in her eyes. Sometimes being a hyper-advanced nanomolecular person doesn't help at all! And worse: the rain is starting to wash away the tracks she was following.

"Ugh, this is no fun!" Emeralda complains, from under her impromptu rain shell. She lets her hair relax into something more like its normal position, except there's still a brim keeping her eyes clear. She is really not looking where she is going for some critical yards, though when she realizes she is wandering off the path and into rocks she quickly skips back over to the proper place.

"The next tower was that way, right?" She's pretty close to pointing the right direction, though the meandering path towards it is not entirely clear.

DG: Emeralda Kasim has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Bad Visibility.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Yeah glowing orbs or whatever. There was a shipment of them and other ... stuff for you. Well I left 'em for you so, uh, I guess you'll find out when you see 'em what i'm talking about."

He grimaces briefly when Josie talks about giving Emeralda a name but he imaginess she won't be too vicious about it. Then again, she gave him Junior and Id still gives him shit over that so even if it looks and sounds totally fine, it might not be.

Fei keepes looking at that map of his. "Mm... If we keep going in--" He points in a direction that's pretty close to Emeralda's. "It should be alright if we do it like that? Approximately? Hard to tell with this kind of visibility."

He steps a bit closer to Elly and gives her arm a small pat of some kind of reassurance??

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Penelope: the smart one.

"Josie likes to do that for all of us, it's her way of showing friendship," Elly explains to Emeralda. "She calls me 'Red', for instance, after -"

Elly falters because of the rain. She has to fumble to get out a -- newspaper? No, it's a sheet of oilcloth that she's used to sit on when fishing at times. Over her head it goes, and she looks towards Fei at the touch on her arm.

She smiles... And it may be a heartbreaking moment of beauty.

Because ten seconds later her hair is completely soaked with water. +10kg

"... oof... Fei, be careful with your map, or it might get washed away!"

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Bad Visibility.
DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Artist's Toolkit toward his party's challenge, Bad Visibility.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    "Oh. Those orbs." She can't help but laugh. "Ha, and here I thought I'd gotten all cheated out of 'em!"
    That smile of hers only broadens when she also realizes it means that she probably won't have to pay. Especially since--

    "Just the one lot, right? I sort of went a little wild," she says, and manages a euphemistic shrug in spite of the cannon in her arms.

    Wait, how many lots did she... attempt to buy...

    ...wasn't she saying she was broke a few weeks back...

    ...

    "Hmm. If you're Red, maybe she can be Green?" she says, then grimaces. "No, no. What about..."

    It's started to rain.

    It's really started to rain.

    "Which way were we going?" she says.

    She's soaked to the skin at this point, a faintly disgruntled expression on her face. She drops the cannon and whips off the cloth.

    And then kicks it.

    The cannon's lights shine yellow and bright!

    She kicks it again.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Superfluous Lights toward her party's challenge, Bad Visibility.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Bad Visibility *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Between the lightning, the Fiends, and the unpleasant terrain, one would
 think the matter of the rain perhaps of a lesser concern. Unfortunately, one
 would think incorrectly: the rain has picked up, obscuring your visibility.

 It's impossible to tell now where the next tower is -- or indeed, if the
 next few feet will be easy walking, or if you will be at risk of an ambush
 by Fiends. You'll have to think your next steps through carefully, or
 consider alternative means of determining where you're headed.
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify==================================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 2 *>=========================
==========================< Results - Bad Visibility >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Superfluous Lights                  1   Wits    Effects: Enlighten and Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   15 --(5)--> 20                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Artist's Toolkit                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Reckless(1)|Stupify(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace 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> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

"That's why I'm called Emeralda already!" Emeralda tugs out what would be a long lock of her hair if it wasn't currently kind of plastered all over her head and back. "See, it's because of this. If it was red I'd be, um... Rubella?"

...

"I don't like Rubella," Emeralda decides.

Emeralda is going more or less the right way, corrected by Fei pointing her the right direction. She adjusts, leading the way - and in the rocky, muddy terrain, she leaves a pretty clear path, because her feet press in pretty deeply when she's not intentionally trying not to.

Emeralda pauses when she sees the lights come on behind her, but assumes Josephine or Elly put them on on purpose so they could see where they were going. And indeed, they could use it, because their path leads to mud - not enough of it to stop them, but enough to make it slower, tiring going until they get out of the surprisingly well-concealed puddle.

By that time, Emeralda is starting to hop foot to foot with impatience. But at least the worst of the rain is blowing over as fast as it blew in.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Maze *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The gap between functional lightning towers can be considerable in places.
 Take the situation ahead -- it's a long way between where you walk now and
 where safer ground awaits ahead.

 Worse, the lightning is striking the ground ahead quite frequently. However,
 all is not lost -- the strikes are regular and appear to be following a
 particular pattern. If you could tease out the shape of this storm's path,
 it should be possible to work out a safe crossing without even the need to
 race the storm.
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Overzealous====================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    The lights... sort of help. Maybe. In the end, the net outcome for this attempt to shine a light through the fog (and rain) is that a gust of wind steals Josie's burlap.

    She has no idea where it went in the heavy rain, and with a long-suffering overly dramatic sigh, hefts up the cannon again and marches onward.

    Into the mud, as it happens. At least she has boots, though getting out of the muck is a treat and half.

    She sets the cannon down again, halfway wilting alongside it.

    "Don't suppose we can just set up camp, eh?" she says, with a lopsided smile.
    Of course not, not if they want to take a nice rest in the rain, with the risk of their tent getting struck by lightning, too...

    This, as it happens, turns out to be good timing. Lightning strikes nearby...

    And lightning strikes nearby, and keeps on striking in what appears to be a particular pattern.

    Josie watches a moment, as if entranced rather than alarmed. She crouches by the cannon again.

    "...Looks like there's a rhythm to it, eh?"

    The cannon shines a brilliant green light now from the panels on its sides. "What do you think, can you make out where it's hitting like this?"

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Superfluous Lights toward her party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei laughs, "Well-- guess you don't have to pay anything now! Though I guess it's hard for me to call it good fortune for the seller. I wonder how it got there..." He looks over to Josie. "Why did you need all these orbs, though? If you don't mind me asking?" He thinks about it. "Oh I guess--it's for archeology right? Since nobody knows how Spira uh... came to be? And it seems like they have pretty good tech." In fact he's pretty sure that's why they're here in the first place. Odessa probably wants them to unleash all these horrors, accidentally or otherwise.

"It's--yeah," He admits to Elly. "But I'd rather lose the map than get shocked, yeah?" He smiles. "Or any of you for that matter."

Fei does not volunteer her own nickname but he does consider Emeralda. It's honestly hard to make into a nickname when her name is kind of nicknamey already. And maybe he shouldn't think of one for Josie. It's for Josie to figure out! That's part of what makes her so special.

"I'm sure you'll figure out one in no time," He assures her.

They run out of uh easy to reach towers and Fei considers his maps again, then eyes the path forward.

"I think in this case it's all about the pattern. Might be tough to bring the cannon through it though, even if we're all tugging on it."

He looks at the cannon nervously.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Artist's Toolkit toward his party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

"Eew," is Emeralda's response to possibly camping out. She has limits.

Also, and more importantly, she doesn't have a sleeping bag.

Emeralda stops hopping once the cannon makes its way out of the mud. She knows things are moving again and she's fine with that. "I bet she needed the spheres to make a ... sphere... collection. Museum! That's like archaeology, right?" Emeralda, despite enjoying Digging, is sometimes a little vague on what to do with the results.

Emeralda has no strong ideas for another nickname. She hasn't ever felt the need for one. Though her name is kind of long, isn't it? Maybe she needs one beyond Emmy. With Elly around they sound similar in some ways... Lost in thought, she walks for a bit, only stopping when everyone else does.

"What - oh. Oooh." Because Emeralda sees that there is a pattern too, though she doesn't immediately recognize it. She crouches down to watch for a while, trying to figure it out. "We could run," she says, preparing to do *just that* before she realizes that she needs to help bring the cannon along.

DG: Emeralda Kasim has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Lightning Maze.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Lightning Maze *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The gap between functional lightning towers can be considerable in places.
 Take the situation ahead -- it's a long way between where you walk now and
 where safer ground awaits ahead.

 Worse, the lightning is striking the ground ahead quite frequently. However,
 all is not lost -- the strikes are regular and appear to be following a
 particular pattern. If you could tease out the shape of this storm's path,
 it should be possible to work out a safe crossing without even the need to
 race the storm.
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Overzealous====================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 3 *>=========================
==========================< Results - Lightning Maze >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  5 --(20)--> 25                 Fail
Superfluous Lights                  1   Wits    Effects: Enlighten and Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      0 --(20)--> 20                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   20 --(20)--> 40                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       0 --(15)--> 15                 Pass
Artist's Toolkit                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          40 --(10)--> 50                Fail
Conditions: Overzealous(2)|Reckless(2)|Stupify(1)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace 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.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    "Got it in one, kid," Josie says to Fei, without even glancing over at him. "I figured, might as well cast a wide net and see what turned up, yeah? Some people'll pay a pretty gil for a nice Sphere, and meanwhile if I can turn up some likely 'movie' ones... like that one I showed you. Didn't lead to anything except the Moonflow," she continues, gesturing, "but the Moonflow's where I found the seller with the Sphere for Almaryyt. So it worked out."

    And that's not even counting the busted one she gave to Leon.

    "Anyway, fortunately, Red over there ain't named Rubella," Josie says, after a moment, on the subject of nicknames once again. "But, hmm. Let's see, green. Green... I guess your dad thought the same thing naming you Emeralda." She smirks, in the midst of thinking it over. "Heh. Emeralds... beryl, malachite... oh!"

    She snaps her fingers and turns to point at the girl. "Jade! That'll do you, right?" She tilts her head as thinking the matter over on her own. "'Course, it's not just in green, but it's what most people think about. So that'll do."

    As for the storm, they can sort of see where it might be hitting and where it might not be hitting so much. After a moment's guesswork, Josie nods. "C'mon. Let's not stand around like gawking ducklings, right."

    And she's off into the maze of lightning.

    ...Only to pull up short as a bolt cracks down out of step with what Fei had outlined. "...Or on second thought," she opines, a few stray locks of hair dancing with the charge that almost caused her a very bad day indeed, "let's go around the long way, yeah?"

    SO THEY DO.

DG: Emeralda Kasim has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
================<* CHALLENGE - Where Lightning Strikes Twice *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Something under the ground here is attracting more than its fair share of
 strikes. This becomes obvious almost immediately as you enter this expanse
 of territory: lightning strikes once, twice, thrice...

 This is not particularly good news for you, being so close to the strikes.

 And then you see it. Half-submerged in the rock, it looks like some piece of
 Machina, drawing the strikes to it. If you break it, the strikes should
 stop. But, to break it, you'll have to get even closer than you are now.
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

SO THEY DO.

It is not fast going, but it is going. Emeralda is, if not precisely happy to help, at least willing. She likes to be helpful... but this is a lot less fun than some of the things she's gotten to do, and ultimately she still is, in a lot of ways, immature.

"Jade," Emeralda says, thoughtfully. She nods after about ten seconds. "I can be Jade! I mean, I still like Emeralda better but it's nice and short sometimes." And, of course, Josie seems to love nicknames, so she's going to get it from one person at least.

She realizes, as they go, that lightning is repeatedly striking one place in the middle of the path. "I thought it was only supposed to strike once unless there was a tower or something," Emeralda says, squinting. She can't make it out - oh, she can.

"There's a machine there!" Emeralda points. And, perhaps trying to capitalize on the fact that it is being struck by lightning repeatedly, channels Ether - to give it a good dousing, a sudden burst of water, flooding it. It might be rain-resistant but it should do... interesting things when the lightning hits it after that, she thinks.

DG: Emeralda Kasim has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Where Lightning Strikes Twice.
DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Where Lightning Strikes Twice.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    "Sometime's short's best, kiddo," she says, schelping along the slick stones a distance behind Emeralda. "D'ya think I want to be called 'Josephine' all the time? Speaking of, call me Josie, got it?"

    It's said good-naturedly enough, in spite of their current situation and all.

    What was that saying again, between the devil and the deep blue sea? Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

    Either is pretty appropriate right now.

    "Getting close to that's going to be a pain in the ass," Josie says, setting the cannon down. "Hey, Jadelet, get clear when you're done with that magic stuff. Red, Junior, get your asses behind me!"

    She fumbles for a pocket then finally extracts one shining energy core. Oh no, is she going to--

    YES.

    "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" Josie yells, crouching down alongside the cannon, its lights a brilliantly healthy green, and takes that shot for the device attracting strikes.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Fresh Energy Core toward her party's challenge, Where Lightning Strikes Twice.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Do archaeologists normally sell to the highest bidder? Sure, why not! Fei is if nothing else the sort of person who knows when to stop asking questions. Or never ask any questions. He tries not to imagine the universe in which Elly's nickname was Rubella. His current nickname is bad enough so he isn't going to try and imagine a worse one.

Still, it's Josephine's nickname, so it isn't that bad he supposes but that's the exception to the Junior rule.

Fei exhales slowly upon seeing the machine that's half buried. He considers what to do about it. Sure, he could unleash his chi but wouldn't that just break it?

"Huh? Oh. Sure. Wait--" He stumbles behind Josie. "Is it uh. Is it Jadelet now or Jade?" This is very imporant to Fei.

Naturally he does consider Josie's assault before ultimately electing to help by unleashing several bolts of red energy bursts from his right hand, naturally trying his best to avoid damaging the machine.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Mother's Cross toward his party's challenge, Where Lightning Strikes Twice.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
================<* CHALLENGE - Where Lightning Strikes Twice *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Something under the ground here is attracting more than its fair share of
 strikes. This becomes obvious almost immediately as you enter this expanse
 of territory: lightning strikes once, twice, thrice...

 This is not particularly good news for you, being so close to the strikes.

 And then you see it. Half-submerged in the rock, it looks like some piece of
 Machina, drawing the strikes to it. If you break it, the strikes should
 stop. But, to break it, you'll have to get even closer than you are now.
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer===================================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 4 *>=========================
==================< Results - Where Lightning Strikes Twice >===================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  25 --(10)--> 35                Pass
Fresh Energy Core                   4   Brute   Effects: None
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      20 --(10)--> 30                Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   40 --(15)--> 55                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       15 --(10)--> 25                Pass
Mother's Cross                      4   Brute   Effects: None
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(1)|Reckless(1)|Suffer(1)
Effects:
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace 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> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

"I think it's Jade," Emeralda says, before she leaps away from the machine. Not that she was that close given Fei and especially Josie were about to open up on it, but -

*BOOM*

Well, the path is clear now. Also, Emeralda has mud in her hair from backsplatter, which she busies herself by wiping off with a grossed-out expression on her face.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Thunder Plains *>=============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - A Fanatic For Dodging *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You meet all types out on the road.

 Never has that been so clear as the scene you see before you now: a man
 stands in the raging storm and as a bolt comes raging down, narrowly avoids
 its strike. Another follows moments after; again he evades it. To what end
 would someone willingly entertain dodging the bolts?

 He pauses upon noticing you watching. "Hey! You should try it too! C'mon! Or
 are you too /scared/?" he taunts. His words are punctuated by a jab of a
 pointer finger. "Show me your moves!"

 It would seem that you are being dared to join in on this endeavor...
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Exhaust============================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Past that path is a man who is just standing in the storm. Fei blinks and approaches him.

"Hey man--" He says. "Are you okay? This isn't the sort of place you want to be standing out in the open like SHIT!!!"

The SHIT!!! comes when a blast of lightning crashes down where the man was moments before--where the man was because the fellow jumped to the side at the last moment. While Fei is stumbling away from the gentleman, he dodges a SECOND bolt of lightning.

He looks towards Fei and says, "Hey! You should try it too! C'mon! Or are you too scared?"

Now look, Fei may be kind of a dumbass sometimes but he isn't so dumb as to dodge lightning bolts for no reason. He says, "No thanks I'm--"

WAIT!

Fei stops.

I know you're just a coward, but you have to do this.

Fei slowly finds himself walking back as if against his will, as if guided by a player who wants to 100 percent this Act. Fei stares at the other man.

"Did you change your mind?"

YES
NO

"Yeah... I'm game!"

A timer appears and he starts jumping around to dodge lightning bolts for no reason.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    Josie, act of wanton violence complete, hefts the cannon up again (now glowing a dull red; it's out of juice, for now) and continues onwards through the wind and rain.

    Until, that is, they run into a weirdo.

    She sets down the cannon, watching on as he exchanges words with Fei.

    Then, just as Fei makes his decision and strides forth to meet his fate--

    Josie approaches him, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

    "Take a shot of this, first," she says, handing over her flask.

    "I'm rooting for you, Junior." She gives him a grin, and a wink. And a thumbs up, before retreating off to the side to... watch.

    What, she's not even going to stop him?

DG: Josephine Lovelace has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Reel Sphere toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

Emeralda takes her time wiping her hair more or less clear of mud before she follows. Fortunately, it comes off pretty easily in the rain, and so she's not actually delayed very much before she catches up.

"Who's that?" she asks Fei, before turning toward the strange dodging man.

Here's the thing: before, Emeralda was annoyed by the lightning and the rain. She wanted to get out of it and stop doing it. But with this challenge, something very significant has changed.

Now, it is a game. And Emeralda does not turn down games.

Emeralda bounds forward. "Me too!" she says, and immediately gets to dodging. She does so with a lot of gusto and energy, bouncing from side to side as she warms up before springing every time a bolt seems to come close. At one point she ducks behind a rock and manages to avoid a spray from the dodging man skidding in evasion.

At least it looks like she's having fun...?

DG: Emeralda Kasim has used her Tool H&S Badge toward her party's challenge, A Fanatic For Dodging.
=============================<* Thunder Plains *>=============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - A Fanatic For Dodging *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You meet all types out on the road.

 Never has that been so clear as the scene you see before you now: a man
 stands in the raging storm and as a bolt comes raging down, narrowly avoids
 its strike. Another follows moments after; again he evades it. To what end
 would someone willingly entertain dodging the bolts?

 He pauses upon noticing you watching. "Hey! You should try it too! C'mon! Or
 are you too /scared/?" he taunts. His words are punctuated by a jab of a
 pointer finger. "Show me your moves!"

 It would seem that you are being dared to join in on this endeavor...
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Exhaust============================================
========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 5 *>========================
=====================< Results - A Fanatic For Dodging >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  35 --(10)--> 45                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      30 --(0)--> 30                 Pass
H&S Badge                           1   Agility Effects: Cleanse
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   55 --(0)--> 55                 Pass
Reel Sphere                         2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       25 --(10)--> 35                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace 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> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei takes the flask solemnly and has a swig before handing it back to Josephine. He nods to her once. "Let's do this."

Now apparently his own stupidity here has dragged Emeralda in! This could be bad!

Or not because actually Fei ends up having to be REELED OUT by Elly moments before electricity slams down on his position after several lightning dodges, like literally, with the hook and fishing line.

But Emeralda just bounces around like a maniac with the power of YOUTH as she bounces around and avoids repeated strikes of lightning that just barely miss her.

In fact, Emeralda can keep at it for a while, eventually dodging enough that the man raises a hand and says, "Alright alright! I know when I'm beat! Guess you're all braver than I thought! Or stupider!"

Fei suspects stupider.

But the weirdo turns to Emeralda. "But I haven't seen anybody dodge bolts like that in a long while. Good job, kid!"

"Do we win anything?" Fei asks.

"Oh there's no prize...except satisfaction."

"Oh." Fei says.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Iron Giant *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond
 that, Macalania Forest.

 A low bellow stops you in your tracks. From the haze of the storm emerges a
 huge armored Fiend bearing a heavy iron sword. An Iron Giant, one of the
 more fearsome creatures of the Thunder Plains.

 It is intent on your destruction. Do not allow it.

 (Image: https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Iron_Giant_(Final_Fantasy_X))
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    When all is said and done -- when Fei stands victorious in the face of death (or at least a good shocking) -- Josie rises from where she's been seated and watching and claps him on the back. "Nice job, kid!" she says, grinning.

    "Also, give me back my flask~"

    She is, fleetingly, a terrifying effigy of sweetness and light.

    Then she crouches and pats Emeralda on the head. "Good work, Jade! ...Hmm, I almost like Jadelet better..." she muses, mussing the girl's hair a moment thoughtfully.

    Then she's up on her feet, hand raised dismissively as she stalks back towards her cannon. "I'll figure it out."

    The cannon's glow has returned to a good steady yellow by now, well past the amber phase.
    It's at almost the same time that the rain begins to thin out, and the strikes start to become a distant memory.

    "Made it!" Josie declares, turning back to the others. "I'll just get on up to the forest and stash it..."

    She has, by the sobering expression on her face, become aware that a massive shape now looms behind her.

    "Huh," she says, turning her head to stare up at the Iron Giant.

    Before breaking into an all-out run, away from the Fiend. "Hold it back and buy me some time! I'm gonna shoot it!"

    And indeed, she plants the cannon down and begins the process* of coaxing it back to 'green and ready to fire'.

    (*specifically, kicking it)

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Cannonfire toward her party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
<Pose Tracker> Emeralda Kasim has posed.

"Yeah, but... I won, so that's good!"

Emeralda beams at the weirdo (and then, shortly thereafter, the group). She even accepts having her hair ruffled with good grace. She seems to have no preference on Jade vs Jadelet.

"Wait, was that the end?" She didn't expect to only need to walk a little more to get out. Apparently that weirdo didn't like to do his exercises too far in. She isn't entirely sure she can blame him either. Who'd want to run in, dodge for a while and then have to keep dodging just to get home again? "That means we can - "

...

"...How come THAT doesn't get shot by lightning??" Emeralda thinks that it looks like a much better target than even the towers! But Josie wants her to stop it, and lightning is out. That leaves... well, still quite a few options on the Ether front.

Emeralda draws out her Etherstone, a cast-off fragment from Crescens' amplifier, and holds it up. Power gathers around her before lashing out in a gout of flame, streaming from her outstretched hand toward the Iron Giant as she blasts it in the face with fire and steam!

DG: Emeralda Kasim has used her Tool Large Etherstone toward her party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Because it's a Fiend, Emeralda," says Elly, as she snaps out her combat rod.

Her hair sparks.

Yeah, literally sparks. It's saturated with hair that's also been tinged with electrolytes in the form of sweat and the salt-and-tropical-oil dry shampoo Elly rubbed in a couple of days ago.

"Fiends get to cheat," Elly says.

You see, Elly has seen this kind of Fiend before.

"I don't know why," Elly says, "and I don't think it's wonderful, because they almost always do it just to hurt people. At best, they wander around and cause problems. At worst..."

Elly sucks in a deep breath. "AT WORST..."

Elly runs forwards as she feels that Etherstone rise up and it gives her a shivering moment of SOMETHING, the passing of an indirect backsplash of amplification letting her get away with just smacking the Iron Giant twice before doing a kick off, landing with her staff held high -

The ground rumbles slightly.

Shapes rise up - rumbling, subducting - are they...

Are they moles?

They can't literally be moles, can they?

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Three-Section Staff toward her party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei hands/handed back the flask! It's a mystery the timing.

"It's probably used to it," Fei asides to Emeralda and then laughs a bit. "It might be why it's so mad huh?"

Fei considers the Iron Giant for a moment. Josie wants to shoot it and honestly Fei doubts he can do much more damage than that cannon right now, so it's a solid enough plan to him. He runs forward with Elly throwing a FIRE POWERED EXPLOSION PUNCH at the fiend before hopping back himself, clearly playing on the defensive here while glancing back at Josie periodically to see if she's ready to fire or not. Because one thing is for sure: Fei doesn't want to get so much as WINGED by that thing!

After his initial strike, Fei draws out his RPS Badge and sends a chi blast refracting off it to pepper the Iron Giant with refracting blasts.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool RPS Badge toward his party's challenge, The Iron Giant.
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - The Iron Giant *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 In the distance you can see it -- sunlight. The end of the storm. And beyond
 that, Macalania Forest.

 A low bellow stops you in your tracks. From the haze of the storm emerges a
 huge armored Fiend bearing a heavy iron sword. An Iron Giant, one of the
 more fearsome creatures of the Thunder Plains.

 It is intent on your destruction. Do not allow it.

 (Image: https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Iron_Giant_(Final_Fantasy_X))
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
=========================<* Thunder Plains - Round 6 *>=========================
==========================< Results - The Iron Giant >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  45 --(0)--> 45                 Pass
Cannonfire                          3   Combat  Effects: Embolden and Liabilit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emeralda Kasim                      30 --(0)--> 30                 Pass
Large Etherstone                    2   Combat  Effects: Embolden
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   55 --(0)--> 55                 Pass
Three-Section Staff                 1   Combat  Effects: Stalwart and Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       35 --(0)--> 35                 Pass
RPS Badge                           3   Combat  Effects: Rally
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          90 --(20)--> 110               Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Wound(2)
Effects: Embolden(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace has successfully explored Thunder Plains!
==============================<* Thunder Plains *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Tinkerer's Choice *>=======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The outskirts of the Thunder Plains are reached; sunlight breaks through the
 edges of the storm's clouds. You can see in the distance the outermost
 reaches of Macalania Forest. The worst of the trek through is now complete.

 And as the light scatters through the dark clouds, it catches on a bit of
 metal. A large bit of metal, as the case may be. This is a particularly
 well-preserved piece of Al Bhed Machina. This one had been without question
 a smaller automaton of some sort, though it's missing several
 important-for-function sections. Perhaps being left here near the edges of
 the storm saved it from being ruined by rain and lightning.

 While it's too fractured to be used for whatever its original purpose might
 have been, it's otherwise perfectly salvageable, whether one intends to
 strip it for its near-pristine components or repurpose it as it is for a new
 project.
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    Fire roars into the Iron Giant, causing parts of the Fiend to melt off into Pyreflies. Chi blasts couple with it, staggering the monstrous figure that towers before them.

    "Bad luck for us, good luck for it, I suppose," Josie says at Emeralda's question, continuing to put the boot to her cannon. "Come on, power up faster!" she shouts at it. "Honestly, I should see about rerouting the damned-- oh, thank the Guardians!"%R It's green.

    There is a moment here in which moles -- real moles?? real moles?? -- rise up from the earth at Elly's beck and call. They rush forth in a mass.

    "CLEAR OUT!" Josie shouts, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"

    There is a terrible roar. And, thereafter, there is a very confused-looking Iron Giant with a gaping hole straight through it.
    And soon after that, a cloud of Pyreflies.

    "One less one causing problems now," Josie says, drawing her good hand across her forehead. "C'mon. Let's get before more of 'em show up."

    And it's on that departure that they spot something glinting dully under a most-welcomed sunlight:

    "Machina, huh? I bet I could use this. Hmm, maybe I can try that rerouting job..." Josie muses, plundering a few choice parts from the machine carcass.

    ESCORT MISSION: NOSTOS CANNON: COMPLETE
    CONGRATULATIONS!