Difference between revisions of "2019-12-20: Atop A Cold Cold Mountain"

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(Created page with "*'''Log: Atop A Cold Cold Mountain''' *'''Cast:''' Character :: Loren Voss, Character :: Anaitis Sura, Character :: Lydia Seren, Character :: Leah Sadalbari *'...")
 
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     Sigh.
 
     Sigh.
  
     "You do?" There is a pause here. "...R-right, yes. Of course," he replies to himself, his shoulders slouching. He presses his lips into a thin line. ''That's why they're going to make them do fieldwork, you ''moron'''', speaks his more judgemental inner self.
+
     "You do?" There is a pause here. "...R-right, yes. Of course," he replies to himself, his shoulders slouching. He presses his lips into a thin line. ''That's why they're going to make them do fieldwork, you'' moron'','' speaks his more judgemental inner self.
  
 
     Lydia -- or rather OS -- reports in from outside.
 
     Lydia -- or rather OS -- reports in from outside.

Latest revision as of 21:30, 14 February 2020

  • Log: Atop A Cold Cold Mountain
  • Cast: Loren Voss, Anaitis Sura, Lydia Seren, Leah Sadalbari
  • Where: Sielje Icy Sea
  • Date: December 20, 2019
  • Summary: Solaris leads an expedition to Colshrie, on orders from a particular someone. The storm -- and the hazards -- make the mountain treacherous to climb, of course... and there are other concerns.

DG: A party led by Loren Voss is now entering Mount Colshrie.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
==============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice *>==============
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 It is said that at the peak of Mt. Colshrie in the Sielje region are ruins
 named by some 'Cythraul the Demon Tower'. Scholars believe that the tower
 dates back to the Metal Demon War. The ruins are poorly explored and in a
 dangerous location, and as such, the interest in them is high.

 You arrive at Mt. Colshrie in the early evening, just as the stars begin to
 come out, twinkling in the sky through the gaps in the clouds and echoed by
 the shining crystals on the mountain. As there so often is, there is a storm
 brewing on the mountain, but for now the way is largely clear. The storms on
 the mountain are known for their ferocity, though: between the weather and
 the terrain, the mountain is near certain death for a traveler on foot. For
 someone in a Gear or similar, though...

 However Gear or not your access to the mountain pass -- such that it is on
 this mountain -- is barred. A great wall of ice has formed or become wedged
 where it would normally be ideal for you to begin your ascent. Perhaps it
 can be broken. Perhaps it can be moved somehow, or climbed over. Regardless,
 you must negotiate it or you will be forced to take a different more
 dangerous route.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-sgn7QLVP4
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Tire, Injure=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    As planned, the expedition to Mount Colshrie -- rumored to be an outpost of some stripe for the now scattered Metal Demons -- was underway. While one would typically expect this to fall under the jurisdiction of Moloch Base to the north, it would seem, given some of those fielded, that a certain contingent of Solaris' interests was involved...

    In the end it's just the two Gears: Loren's Schiehallion and Leah's Simurgh.

    Lydia -- and OS by default -- have no Gear.

    Regardless of the weather, she needs no Gear.

    But there aren't merely three people present. Accompanying Loren in the Schiehallion is none other than Lieutenant Junior Grade Sura, of the engineering division.

    Loren had made a case to Leah for them to come along on the mission, arguing that some controlled field experience would be better for the engineer, given he had learned that they would soon be deployed in similar (if not Gear-oriented) contexts due to their considerable talents with water Ether.

    Currently, as he takes careful -- too-careful, really -- readings of the instruments on the array before him, he's starting to question the wisdom of his arguing for this.
    Not because he doesn't want Anaitis along or anything like that --

    But really for a more immediate reason:

    If... I screw up with them watching me, I am going to curl into a ball and die, run his thoughts on the matter, more or less.
    His hands shake. He takes a breath, his shoulders tensing.

    And even being in a Gear at all is... rattling what core of calm he even had in him.

    The near-present storm on the mountain is calm as they make the approach to the pass -- such that is is -- on the mountain. The sky is clear, revealing a sparkling array of stars in the skies above. If it weren't for the fact that they were here in official capacity, Loren's attention would be for the heavens. So it goes.

    But it would seem that the same frigid conditions that have created -- for now -- an excellent sky have also contrived to drop an obstacle in their path: a great wall of ice.

    "Looks like we'll have to break through," he remarks, then leans back in his seat and closes his eyes.

    He reaches out with his will, pouring bolstering, correcting power -- earth, with just a touch of water as an afterthought -- through the Ether Resonator, sending it outwards in a wave for Leah and Lydia.

    "This should... help," he says, opening his eyes again.

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool Ether Resonator toward his party's challenge, The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice.
<Pose Tracker> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    Despite their clearance to service and perform maintenance on a range of Solaris Gears in Assyria Base, Anaitis Sura did not have a unit issued to themself -- and perhaps not anytime soon, from a determination that they only had a basic inkling of Gear operation, judging from the graduate-level courses that they had registered in the personnel database.

    What is one to do when faced with the perilous, icy mountains of Mt. Colshrie?

    Well.

    The Schiehallion is a little bit roomier than some other Gears of the Solaris line, is it not?

    So.

    Loren mentions that they have no choice to break through.

    "Captain, I happen to have a degree of proficiency with water," Anaitis harmonises, seated on Loren's left armrest with their legs crossed like, all the way from here to there. They seem to have no trouble balancing.

    This is totally not protocol.

    Outside the base, they have chosen an outfit for Drifting -- flowing cream-white robes with blue accents, accompanied with an enormous shawl to which white-tasseled mirrors are attached. Loose hakama-style pants accompany the outfit, with a similar gradient.

    "Allow me to assist."

    Rather curiously for a Solarian, it is a Crest Graph that appears out of Anaitis' kimono-styled sleeve pocket - it is primed with dual crests of Muse, and there is a soft arcane whisper from the engineer...

    "Grand... Pressure."

    And the ice barrier might just find itself slightly less solid as Crest Sorcery suggests it become a rushing geyser instead.

DG: Anaitis Sura has used their Tool Crest Graph S toward their party's challenge, The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia...does not have a gear but that's ok she is highly maneuverable and is very, very hard to keep down.

But by the same token, this is an official Solarian mission... so it's not just Lydia you're getting today. Indeed, they're kind of bringing out all the stops today.

"The weather is not unpleasant to our systems. Computational efficiency is at 125 percent. Thank you, Captain Voss, for your assistance."

Meanwhile, on OS's shoulder, a doll that looks ratheer like Rachiel is huggging itself and shivering. "It's...sooo...cooooollld." The Rachiel Jr doll says. "Hehe..just kidding, I'm curled up in this amazing blanket I found in the market and drinking this hot beverage called 'Hot Cocoa'. Don't worry I used a coaster so as to not leave any residue on the console!"

The Rachiel Jr Doll interface is pretty new for the purposes of enhancing the bond between minion and operator here and definitely wasn't chosen just to allow for a stronger presence beyond just words emanating out of nowhere. And it definitely definitely wasn't done for the purposes of adorability. Please report to the Reassignment if you believe it was just for purposes of cuteness.

OS extends a hand and the gems along their body flash a bright green before Solais Emsu appears in the sky and casts down a large ray of light for the ice wall, intending to melt it considerably.

Considering Anaitis is intending to encourage ice to become water, well, this is going to be a possibly unintentional but fortuitous combo technique.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Tiebreaker V 2.0 toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice.
<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

Naturally, Leah Sadalabri has heard the stories the scholars tell of this tower. Perhaps that's part of why only two Gears were dispatched. Perhaps not. ...More likely, it has to do with a certain Not Gear...

Well, Leah naturally wasn't going to take a guest in her Gear. The control scheme tends to unsettle guests somewhat, after all, the woman seated and buckled into the chair from which she controls the machine. Naturally there are wires and cords extending from her arms, her prosthetics for once plainly visible; rather than full uniform, she has on a tanktop with wide straps that do nothing to cover the significant chrome over her shoulder and a bit beyond. Not that all that shows on the viewscreen... save some of the wires. Also invisible are the straps that keep her in the chair.

However, here and now...

"Hmmm. Not exactly the most delicate of archaeological methods," Leah remarks, with a slight sigh. It's entirely facetious. However, she feels out for the magic...

...And feels not only Loren's control, but the power of water from another source, as well.

"Yes," Leah remarks, "It's important to use coasters."

Loren watches Solais Emsu's appearance thoughtfully. Then--

"My. What a powerful array of means to break through," she comments. "Calculating likely trajectory of debris..."

Smoothly, Leah's gear slides to the left; and reaches out as well, "Compensating..." Her power of Water is a subtle thing here; she does not move to smash, but to guide the remnants away.

DG: Leah Sadalbari has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of
Ice.
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
==============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice *>==============
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 It is said that at the peak of Mt. Colshrie in the Sielje region are ruins
 named by some 'Cythraul the Demon Tower'. Scholars believe that the tower
 dates back to the Metal Demon War. The ruins are poorly explored and in a
 dangerous location, and as such, the interest in them is high.

 You arrive at Mt. Colshrie in the early evening, just as the stars begin to
 come out, twinkling in the sky through the gaps in the clouds and echoed by
 the shining crystals on the mountain. As there so often is, there is a storm
 brewing on the mountain, but for now the way is largely clear. The storms on
 the mountain are known for their ferocity, though: between the weather and
 the terrain, the mountain is near certain death for a traveler on foot. For
 someone in a Gear or similar, though...

 However Gear or not your access to the mountain pass -- such that it is on
 this mountain -- is barred. A great wall of ice has formed or become wedged
 where it would normally be ideal for you to begin your ascent. Perhaps it
 can be broken. Perhaps it can be moved somehow, or climbed over. Regardless,
 you must negotiate it or you will be forced to take a different more
 dangerous route.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-sgn7QLVP4
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Tire, Injure=====================================
=========================<* Mount Colshrie - Round 1 *>=========================
================< Results - The Clear Sky - To The Gate Of Ice >================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Ether Resonator                     1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Tiebreaker V 2.0                    4   Brute   Effects: Efficient and Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sadalbari                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anaitis Sura                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Crest Graph S                       2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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: Anaitis Sura has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mount Colshrie *>=============================
==============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage *>==============
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Above are the stars and about you the weather is calm and clear, with
 excellent visibility. You're in a good spot: no obvious hazards appear to
 await you, and above, the mountain's peak looms.

 As you continue onward, you spot below a wreck of another would-be
 explorer's machine, revealed by the strong recent winds. Perhaps some parts
 can be salvaged from it -- but making your way down to it across ice and
 unsteady rock could prove dangerous. How is best to get to it?
=Dungeon Conditions: Vault====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    Loren had, once, suggested Anat use the actual seat in the back. This had been back before launch, when he had been conducting systems check.

    That had not been where Anaitis had actually sat.

    Loren hadn't suggested it again. Every so often -- particularly when he'd guided the Schiehallion to land -- he'd glanced over at the engineer. ...They have the sort of preternatural grace that makes Loren feel like a gawky teenager again.

    ...Did he ever outgrow that, though? Maybe he's still pretty gawky...

    Sigh.

    "You do?" There is a pause here. "...R-right, yes. Of course," he replies to himself, his shoulders slouching. He presses his lips into a thin line. That's why they're going to make them do fieldwork, you moron, speaks his more judgemental inner self.

    Lydia -- or rather OS -- reports in from outside.

    "Understood. Commence with operations--"

    Before his gaze drifts towards Anat again. Those are Crests.
    The engineer is quite the unusual one.

    "It should be fine, Major. OS, you--"

    She's already seeing to it. The wall of ice, partially liquifying, meets with OS as she channels down the power of the sun, a flash of brilliant light in the the otherwise darkened sky.

    There is in the end no need at all for Leah to engage directly.

    There was a wall here. It's gone now.

    (Or rather, reduced to a flood of meltwater, which is of no concern to either sturdy Gear. Leah's control is enough to see the bulk of it sent away from their immediate positions.)

<Pose Tracker> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    Anaitis lets out the most subtle of chuckles as they place their hand to their chest. "I may not be able to assist with a Gear, but my own knowledge of the intricacies of magic seem to work at a far enough distance. I hope this will come in useful in our venture here."

    The two Gears and OS proceed upwards past a hill and both Schiehallion and Simurgh's radars ping.

    >> OBJECT DETECTED

    It's a broken-down gear. It looks like it's been long abandoned -- the cockpit hatch is open, and it's snowed under. But it looks intact enough that several parts may be able to be retrieved.

    "It will be dangerous to step out..." Anaitis muses, but holds up a small case in their hands. "But I can try to see if I can salvage some common parts, Captain, Major?"

DG: Anaitis Sura has used their Tool Engineering Kit toward their party's challenge, The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    That was... possibly with the boost provided with the Ether amplifiers in the Gear? He doesn't know for sure that it's not possible, in any case, to use Crests with them.

    ...He doesn't know anything about Crests at all, he realizes, and gazes at it for a long moment, in Anaitis' hand.
    Before the engineer addresses him directly. "Ah, um," Loren starts, glancing up at Anat. "Y-yes, I'm sure. It... was helpful," he finishes, glancing away from Anaitis entirely and trying to surreptitiously take a steadying breath.

    It's onwards and upwards after that.

    Until progress is interrupted by a PING from the radar.

    "What is that? ...Is that a Gear?" Loren squints through the screen, trying to focus the camera upon it. It's quite a distance away yet, and will require a trek across potentially unsteady terrain.

    "...Hold on," he says, initializing the scanning equipment onboarded to the Gear. "I'm going to take some measurements."

    Laser beams -- just light -- flash out into the night, sliding across the terrain and the object itself.

    His whole attention focused on the readout on his screen, Loren's lips move slightly.

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool Tactical Interferometer toward his party's challenge, The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS observes the destruction of the wall of ice and hover up as a precaution to avoid potential flooding though with Leah's control, they don't seem to need to worry too much about that but OS seems to not be quite the same as Lydia in terms of having like 30 seconds of anxiety before they take a particular action.

"We appreciate your confidence in our output, Major." OS says. "We are appreciative of the thoughfulness in our Medium interface that allows for ready channeling with minimal decrease of stamina."

There seems to be a wreck of a gear ahead. OS looks at it with some curiousity. Lydia would be all up in that business but Lydia wasn't brought into Solaris for purposes of fixing up gears and OS doesn't seem to have an immediate interest in fixing the thing up.

"Regulating internal temperatures... Damage estimates negligable."

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage.
<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

"Noted," the Major replies to OS. "I'm glad it's proving workable."

Leah, of course, has no input as to seating arrangements. Naturally. Maybe she hasn't noticed?

But once the matter of their blockage is clear, Leah sets her Ether booster back to standby mode and moves her quadrupedal Gear onward. But past the hill...

"Hmmm," Leah remarks, and then considers Anaitis's musings. "That seems reasonable to me. I'll get close and hold it stable." The wings help, too. But also...

"Initiating detailed terrain scan," she says, and closes her good eye and changes over her input--

Leah now sees through the cameras on the Gear directly, without need for intermediary reporting, and her Gear moves with a strange, uncanny precision.

DG: Leah Sadalbari has used her Tool Cybereye Integration toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - Exposed
Wreckage.
=============================<* Mount Colshrie *>=============================
==============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage *>==============
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Above are the stars and about you the weather is calm and clear, with
 excellent visibility. You're in a good spot: no obvious hazards appear to
 await you, and above, the mountain's peak looms.

 As you continue onward, you spot below a wreck of another would-be
 explorer's machine, revealed by the strong recent winds. Perhaps some parts
 can be salvaged from it -- but making your way down to it across ice and
 unsteady rock could prove dangerous. How is best to get to it?
=Dungeon Conditions: Vault====================================================
========================<* Mount Colshrie - Round 2 *>========================
================< Results - The Clear Sky - Exposed Wreckage >================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Tactical Interferometer             2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sadalbari                      0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Cybereye Integration                2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anaitis Sura                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Engineering Kit                     2   Wits    Effects: Stalwart
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  20 --(30)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Vault(1)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss has passed this challenge! The party gained 30 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> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    Loren's light-scanner proves fruitful -- he gets several registers on the parts database that his Gear contains, a number of which are fairly difficult to source duplicates of. There's definitely value to be had here.

    OS floats forward and assesses the damage and finds it fairly intact -- and Leah discovers several pathways that aren't traps, insomuch as there are pockets in Colshrie that LOOK like solid ground but you'll sink into several meters of powdery snow.

    It doesn't take long with all that help to fetch those parts -- Anaitis lowers themself down to the Gear with Loren's help, and equipment is procured.

    There is a quiet puff as Anaitis blows into their hands afterwards, smiling. "That was fruitful -- and rather cold. This Gear's cockpit is rather warm and toasty, I must say, Captain."

    Are they sitting a few inches closer

    Yes they are

DG: Leah Sadalbari has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
===============<* CHALLENGE - The Storm - The Mountain's Wound *>===============
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The storm closes in; the world about you is doused in white, even to the
 point of dimming the glowing crystals common atop this mountain.

 But you can still see the obstacle ahead of you: a great crevasse, a wound
 carved into the mountain. No doubt, the current weather will make crossing
 the deep gap difficult. But it must be done, if you want to proceed in this
 direction.
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer, Hesitate=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

With that done, the Major checks over her systems, and then prepares to move on. The trek up the mountain is uneventful for a time, simple climbing and pathfinding... Right up until the storm suddenly picks up harder and closes in all around them, a flurry of snow making visibility terrible; the glowing crystals in the night air are almost dim in the white sheets pouring everywhere. But the great crevasse, the wound ahead, is still visible by its sixze.

The winds and the slippery conditions will make it tricky, and Leah considers her options. "...I'll lead the way," she says simply. "My Gear's form factor is ideal for this."

Leah at that point leans back, and presses a button; metal bindings sling out to help secure her in place as she finishes preparation to--

> GNOSIS Interface activating...
> Active. Transferring direct control of Gear to user."

The sheer precision with which Simurgh moves could be impressive, in the next moments. It almost seems... alive.

DG: Leah Sadalbari has used her Tool GNOSIS Interface toward her party's challenge, The Storm - The Mountain's Wound.
<Pose Tracker> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    "Oh my," Anaitis muses very softly as the storm suddenly picks up, primarily through the Schiehallion cameras as well as some of the indicators. "It seems the temperature will be degrading quite a bit, not to mention the visibility is poor..."

    Leah considers her options and advises that she'll lead.

    Anaitis watches for a moment and remarks, "What a fascinating Gear, Captain. The level of movement is quite peerless, is it not? As for the Schiehallion..."

    Suddenly, there is a boat paddle.

    ... why is there a boat paddle?

    "Oh, sorry, do you mind if I brought my favourite boat paddle here?" Anaitis asks as they lean on it, propped up on one side of the seat which coincidentally causes them to bump up even closer against Loren.

    "I enjoy boat paddles," Anaitis muses. Stop saying boat paddle!

    Speaking of boat paddles, the Schiehallion's Gear fluids start to mysteriously flow a little bit more freely where they might've been at risk of freezing over due to the low temperatures. Like someone was sticking an oar through them, you see.

    Boat paddle.

DG: Anaitis Sura has used their Tool Boat Paddle toward their party's challenge, The Storm - The Mountain's Wound.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "...Right. It's of identifiable make, Lieutenant--" Loren starts, reporting in on what he's been able to glean from the measurements taken. "It's not as far a drop as I'd thought. I'll take you in close enough, but be careful," he cautions, before doing precisely that.

    He stands rapt at watch via camera, the air curling itself and its chill into the cockpit as Anaitis ventures out. He doesn't dare close up with the engineer out there, his free hand resting near to the buckle for his restraining belt just in case the retrieval goes south.

    It's not needed. Anat returns without incident. "Yeah. The temperature's well below freezing. Are you all right--" He glances up just as Anat settles in.
    Closer than before.

    His hand hesitates a moment, as if he were about to reach out. But he stops.

    Maybe... maybe I'm just imagining things.

    He pushes his glasses up his nose. He has a mission to focus on here, anyway--

    And then a storm rolls on up, making the situation rather more complicated.

    Particularly since sensors report a crevasse, right before he loses all visibility at that range to the white. "Shit," he utters, switching to communications. "Major, visibility's-- understood!"

    He's silent a moment before nodding the once. "Yeah. It's really something. ...Where's OS?" He pauses. "...Why do you have a boat paddle?" Another, longer pause. "...Following your lead, Major."

    Because if he keeps the Gear idle much longer it really is going to ice over.
    Though, he notes, as he urges the machine onwards to the edge of the crevasse and leaps, firing the verniers, it looks like the internal temperatures are all green...?

DG: Loren Voss has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Storm - The Mountain's Wound.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS looks up towards the cockpit and says, "Anaitis. Unfortunately we are ill equipped to cool off your cockpits. However, if neccessary we can pack snow onto the gear to help cool it off. It is not a perfect solution but as we head further up the mountain, the cockpit is likely to cool even further. We are not sure we understand the tactical value of boat paddles. This is not a terrain where we are likely to encounter boats."

Their wings fan out and ignite mildly with heated edges to assist in their flight up the mountain. With temperatures this cool, they are keeping to short flight bursts rather than risk a seize up in their thrusters and a hilarious plummet to the bottom of the mountain.

"On reflection, it may be more beneficial to keep the cockpit warm for as long as possible so long as you are not concerned about overheating."

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, The Storm - The Mountain's Wound.
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
===============<* CHALLENGE - The Storm - The Mountain's Wound *>===============
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The storm closes in; the world about you is doused in white, even to the
 point of dimming the glowing crystals common atop this mountain.

 But you can still see the obstacle ahead of you: a great crevasse, a wound
 carved into the mountain. No doubt, the current weather will make crossing
 the deep gap difficult. But it must be done, if you want to proceed in this
 direction.
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer, Hesitate=========================================
=========================<* Mount Colshrie - Round 3 *>=========================
=================< Results - The Storm - The Mountain's Wound >=================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Radical Skates                      2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sadalbari                      0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
GNOSIS Interface                    2   Agility Effects: Cleanse and Sacrifice
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anaitis Sura                        0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Boat Paddle                         2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)|Suffer(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

Leah has not, of course, revealed all the secrets of her Gear to many. But OS isn't the only one to benefit from special engineering! Well, 'benefit' maybe. As it stands, though...

"Hmmmm, do you really have a boat paddle, oar is that just a clever code?"

Yep. She went there.

"I think they'll manage, OS," Leah answers then, businesslike again. She guides on--and in point of fact, they all make it through. OS has the easiest time, having the smallest body to maneuver, but Simurgh blazes a good path for Schiehallion. There's a bump at the end, though--

A bump that might just nudge Anaitis a little closer still. By coincidence.

DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Mount Colshrie *>=============================
===============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The weather is clear, permitting good visibility. You have come to the top
 of a crest on the mountainside, one that gives you a good view of the
 mountain valley ahead of you. It looks like there is a traversable spot
 across the distance. But getting there quickly may be a challenge.

 That is, until you spot the natural slide of ice below you. If you were to
 gain enough speed and then launch using the ice slide, you might be able to
 quickly cross the gap.
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Exhaust===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS turns to look at Leah. "...Understood. Recognizing 'boat paddle' as having dual meaning. Good luck, Lt. Junior Grade Anat."

The team is able to go further up the mountain without too much trouble where the weather clears up. "The Major's suspicion is proven accurate. The weather here should allow your cockpit's temperature to stabilize." They nod once to Loren's gear and start walking forward.

They point. "We can cross there with minimal fuel usage. We will continue our movements on foot for the benefit of the squad."

They continue to walk forward a bit before stopping, raising an arm. From within a gear it might be tough to spot, but there's actually a whole slide of ice that kind of epically swoops up and with enough inertia shouuuuld be enough to cross.

"Allow us to proceed first to deem suitably for gears." They step back and then run forward, sliding down with their, you know, actual rollerskates, moving rapidly, rapidly, rapidly, and then readily soaring into the sky, using one quick push from their thrusters to land on the other side of the gap.

They turn and say over the comms, <Sending suggested speed for ready traversal. Please mind the gap.>

Then they look out towards the distance, looking over the mountain and to the valleys and earth below, everything small from such heights...

And maybe one wouldn't expect someone like OS to comment but...

"...It is beautiful." They say. "...We believe we enjoy climbing, Major. Rachiel."

Rachiel Jr is still clinging to OS for dear life. "At least hold onto me when you do thaaat...? If we lose this it comes out of my pay!"

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    Leah responds --

    With a pun that makes Loren outright grimace. It might not be his native language, sure, but he understood that one far too well. "Major, please," he responds, with obvious distaste.
    Leah may have personally offended him on some primal level.

    But wordplay differences take the backseat when his landing proves to be a rather bumpy one. An oath slips his lips as he comes in too sharply, too suddenly into contact with the other side--

    And he remembers in that instant, shit, Anaitis.

    And he reaches out with his right hand for the engineer, grabbing them about the back and shoulder in order to ensure they don't take a tumble.

    "Are you okay? ...Sorry, that was bumpier than I expected."

    Silence.

    "Um..."

    OS reports in thereafter.

    "The temperature's fine! --I mean, are you sure? That looks like a large drop..."

    He watches in further silence. His shoulders slouch and just a bit, the medical officer seems to wilt.

    "Well... here goes," he says, glancing over at the engineer and tries to crack a smile.

    Before taking the plunge after OS.

    Don't close your eyes don't close your eyes don't close your eyes--

    ...also don't look down, he adds mentally, far too late.

DG: Loren Voss has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide.
<Pose Tracker> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    "Oh my," Anaitis muses in turn to the comment of whether the boat paddle is metaphorical oar if it is merely clever code. "I suppose a boat paddle does possess multiple meanings, does it not?"

    They look to Loren. "I understood that to be a 'pun'. Does that displease you, Captain?"

    What other meanings they do not particularly dwell upon.

    Anaitis' legs cross further as they place a finger to their lip in thought. OS moves forward first and rolls on their radical skates, and Anat looks towards them with an appreciative hum.

    But then they start rocking, and Loren reaches his hand out for them around their shoulder!

    "Oh dear," Anaitis muses.

    It would seem that they are fine, in part because Loren supported them, and also because...

    Is the boat paddle just... standing there beside the Gear seat like it were some kind of immovable rod? It must just be a trick of the eye, a trick of perspective.

DG: Anaitis Sura has used their Tool Boat Paddle toward their party's challenge, The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide.
<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

Loren may be able to imagine Leah's wry smirk. "Please what, Captain?" she replies with utter innocence. Then a beat to Lydia, "Good. It's important to keep in mind."

OS's work with the slide though... Leah considers it thoughtfully, and then, "Speed received and noted. ...Hmmm. We may have to include more missions in mountainous terrain, in that case. Some are afraid of heights."

Leah goes last, meanwhile. She doesn't change her controls back over, instead favoring the same approach as before--but it makes for an altogether different experience, this slide and jump, instead of handling the controls secondhand.

Sliiiiide. "I won't be left behind."

DG: Leah Sadalbari has used her Tool GNOSIS Interface toward her party's challenge, The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide.
=============================<* Mount Colshrie *>=============================
===============<* CHALLENGE - The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The weather is clear, permitting good visibility. You have come to the top
 of a crest on the mountainside, one that gives you a good view of the
 mountain valley ahead of you. It looks like there is a traversable spot
 across the distance. But getting there quickly may be a challenge.

 That is, until you spot the natural slide of ice below you. If you were to
 gain enough speed and then launch using the ice slide, you might be able to
 quickly cross the gap.
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Exhaust===========================================
========================<* Mount Colshrie - Round 4 *>========================
=================< Results - The Clear Sky - The Ice Slide >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          10 --(20)--> 30                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Radical Skates                      2   Agility Effects: Quicken
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sadalbari                      5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
GNOSIS Interface                    2   Agility Effects: Cleanse and Sacrifice
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anaitis Sura                        5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Boat Paddle                         2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Hesitate(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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: Loren Voss has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
======<* CHALLENGE - The Storm - Flight From The Terror Of The Mountain *>======
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 You must be nearing the summit. If the rumors are true, there is an ancient
 ruin lost up the inaccessible mountain. Perhaps it won't be long now--

 A scream from above interrupts that thought rather thoroughly. Your sensors
 pick up a hostile presence approaching, swiftly, and from behind.

 Just as the storm begins to pick up, completely hiding the form of the
 enormous and utterly hostile brightly colored avian creature known only as a
 hraesvelgr.

 It has the advantage.

 The storm is terrible.

 Perhaps the best plan is to try to lose it in the storm and make haste for
 the summit. But here of all a slip could be /very/ unfortunate.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOeb7StJlRc
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Fright, Injure=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"We would not have made the suggestion if we believed the maneuver required more than base competence, Captain, as we are making excellent progress up the mountain and need not take risky shortcuts." OS does not explain how they define base competence.

And Loren accidentally looks down!!

But thankfully Anat's boat paddle keeps the gear steady?? That paddle is performing some heavy lifting. Such power...

OS seems the opposite of afraid of heights. Rather than look towards the gears as they make their way across, they appreciate the good view while they have it.

"Of course not, Major." OS says, not sounding offended by the implication Leah was making about being left behind.

"We would appreciate more missions in mountainous terrain, however." They are eventually bale to force themselves away from looking out over the mountain.

"Lt. Junior Grade Anat, we have been wondering. What design do you have for your nails today?"

It was Lydia who saw them but, well, they happen to share the eyes and it seems nail painting has attracted OS's interest as well.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    His arm is still slung about Anat's shoulder, particularly as they come closer to the lip above the slide. The engineer hasn't had the chance to gather themselves yet and he doesn't think they have the time to wait and...

    Well. That's what Loren is telling himself, at least. "Sorry, this is going to be rough--"

    (Why is the oar standing? maybe it's better not to answer certain questions)

    The good news, such that it is, is that they don't slam into some part of the mountain over on the other side. They sail far, clearing that gap.

    ...Controlling a Gear with one arm is not optimal, though. Particularly not a heavy Gear.

    "Oh no."

    It's not a crash as much as it is a somewhat awkward landing into a pile of crusted-over snow; the heavy Gear shakes the worst of it off with barely a slowed stride.

    "...um," Loren hazards, addressing the elephant in the room. He may be a bit flushed. "There, er, isn't... a lot of room here," he says, trying to (surreptitiously) adjust his body around Anaitis. "I mean, I-- I think we're close to the summit, Major!"

    Are the visuals on his end still off? He can't tell.

    This is when the storm, again, rolls up. This one carpets the lot of them in white, rendering immediate visuals impossible. "--Maybe we should hold tight," he reports over the channel again. "Wait for this to die down. OS, are you present?"

    WARNING: INCOMING HOSTILE DETECTED announces the Gear's neural network. He can see it too as the alarms begin to go off -- heat signals coming in from...

    Behind.

    More data comes in after. "It's huge!" he blurts out, trying to get a positive on it with his crippled visuals. --no good! "Major! I'm going to kill my lights! Maybe we can lose it if we head upwards-- the summit's ahead!"

    And he does precisely that, moving at all good speed the slow-to-accelerate Gear can muster.

DG: Loren Voss has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Storm - Flight From The Terror
Of The Mountain.
<Pose Tracker> Anaitis Sura has posed.

    "Mountains do have a sense of majesty to them, do they not?" Anaitis remarks to OS as they talk about how they would prefer missions in mountainous terrain and that they enjoy hiking. But then OS asks what design they have for their nails, and there is a chuckle as they explain:

    "I did a mixture of powder blue and shimmering velvet and marbled them into a peacock feather pattern. I can show you how to do that technique sometime."

    Loren can verify this!! It's very technicolour.

    Their Gear lands with a rather rough crunch, however; Anat seems to be just fine holding onto that boat paddle which is standing perfectly upright. "I am sorry," Anat smiles quietly. "It is rather a tight fit. Perhaps that second seat would have been preferrable."

    Would it, though?

    But there's a warning of a hostile being detected...

    "Oh my, oh dear," Anat muses rather whimsically, looking towards the visuals and procuring another of their Crests. They lean in to the comms.

    "Major, Captain, I will harrangue the creature by creating a disturbance using the storm. Please be aware of obstacles around our pursuer."

    Anat holds that Crest and the Boat Paddle in tandem. There is a blue gleam in their eyes--

    --and outside, certain parts of the storm become frozen and rock-solid, freezing around the hraesvelgr like ice; others, meanwhile, become smooth and water-like, perhaps making their ascent to the summit a little bit easier.

DG: Anaitis Sura has used their Tool Boat Paddle toward their party's challenge, The Storm - Flight From The Terror Of
The Mountain.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Impressive." OS does not sound impressed but rest assured that's just because they are more program than person. Self identified, anyway. OS's own nails do not seem to be painted but they might need a special kind of paint to get it to stick anyway.

(Lydia has tried with mixed results).

A hostile is deteected. The gems glow a hot green as OS readies heir medium--only for the Captain to suggest they try losing it rather than fighting it head on.

"Understood. Channeling Solais Emsu's power to reflect light off your gears."

And indeed, soon the gears become rather difficult to see. This may be taking 'kill the lights' a bit too literally but it certainly won't hurt.

OS can't really kill their own lights but they can move real quickly, a trait they share with Lydia it seems, and also their undercover brother from another tribe cyre. Rather than risk flying, they just keep low to the ground as they push through the storm, seemingly unperturbed.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, The Storm - Flight From The Terror Of The
Mountain.
<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

Leah has made her plan, for the moment; she doesn't clarify the sort of challenge speak that was her statement about being left behind, for the moment, instead focusing onward. She has to focus somewhat on the Gear's movements, after all, and has little to say in the moment. The rough approach or not...

"No, there's not much..."

The story is here--and suddenly, the creature.

"We have nothing to gain in fighting it at the moment! Move forward!"

Anat mentions a disturbance... Hmmm. Leah checks her scans once again, and a third time as she notices the shift.

"Obstacles noted. OS, keep up your stealth protocols for the moment. I'll keep low to the ground for the moment, and bring up the rear, in case."

In case?

Leah knows that keeping the system on too long will strain her, but it needs to be a little longer--as they move onward.

Leah doesn't comment on fingernails, for some reason. Instead, she shifts to the side--

"...There. I can collapse the path once we're all through."

DG: Leah Sadalbari has used her Tool GNOSIS Interface toward her party's challenge, The Storm - Flight From The Terror
Of The Mountain.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

MEANWHILE

Rachiel Jr tugs on OS's cheek repeatedly (they stoically endure). "I think we're going to make it!" She says. "I was so worried Loren was going to fall!"

==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
======<* CHALLENGE - The Storm - Flight From The Terror Of The Mountain *>======
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 You must be nearing the summit. If the rumors are true, there is an ancient
 ruin lost up the inaccessible mountain. Perhaps it won't be long now--

 A scream from above interrupts that thought rather thoroughly. Your sensors
 pick up a hostile presence approaching, swiftly, and from behind.

 Just as the storm begins to pick up, completely hiding the form of the
 enormous and utterly hostile brightly colored avian creature known only as a
 hraesvelgr.

 It has the advantage.

 The storm is terrible.

 Perhaps the best plan is to try to lose it in the storm and make haste for
 the summit. But here of all a slip could be /very/ unfortunate.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOeb7StJlRc
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Fright, Injure=====================================
=========================<* Mount Colshrie - Round 5 *>=========================
========< Results - The Storm - Flight From The Terror Of The Mountain >========
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          30 --(10)--> 40                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Radical Skates                      2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sadalbari                      10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
GNOSIS Interface                    2   Agility Effects: Cleanse and Sacrifice
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anaitis Sura                        10 --(10)--> 20                Fail
Boat Paddle                         2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Injure(2)|Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Loren Voss has successfully explored Mount Colshrie!
==============================<* Mount Colshrie *>==============================
===========<* CHALLENGE - Cythraul Tower Ruins - A World's Secrets *>===========
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 4          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 You approach at last the ruins of Cythraul tower, the rumored structure
 well-hidden on the storm-ridden peak of Mount Colshrie. To call what remains
 a 'tower' is a bit of an overstatement -- and yet you can still see that
 this place once reached to the heavens. When you disembark, you're able to
 explore what remains.

 You find after much exploring of the dilapidated ruins a room that seems
 strangely mostly intact. There is a dais within.

 Once it's approached, the whole room becomes lined with swirls of brilliant
 blue light: the glow streams upwards for the ceiling before reaching the
 apex of an aperture that hangs over the dais. A single brilliant bloom of
 blue light descends from the aperture and blossoms into a sphere.

 You realize after a moment that this is Filgaia. Most of the land masses
 look right. Others do not. On one particular spot on the spherical map a dot
 of light flashes. Could this be the coordinates for something? In shaking
 text the map prints out two words:

 Capel Coffa.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_pggmF8Wks

 (OOC: Send a request to staff about this!)
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    It's a bit of a squeeze, honestly.

    (Not that Loren... minds this, technically speaking, but he's also trying to do his job and it's rapidly becoming difficult to focus on that.)

    "Yeah... probably," he answers Anat, his eyes on the console and the console alone. He's given up on trying to loop himself around Anaitis and instead is trying to reach past them on the other side. ...That's not much better than the alternative when it comes to 'actually reaching the controls', though. "Er, Lt. Sura, do you--"

    But easy (if reluctantly offered) solutions don't have any time to bear fruit. A monster is upon them, calling for evasive action.

    Perhaps not even the boat paddle (why is there an boat paddle, still) can help them now.

    Even if the sudden manifestation of ice about the creature slows its stride, minutely.

    ...It could have gone better. When the Schiehallion comes to a stop, it proves to be a rather sudden one, as if they have impacted a wall.

    But between the power of the Guardians and the superior technology of their machines, it seems they have bested the beast: they've outpaced it and lost it in the storm.

    Which soon dies again.

    Of all things, the wall that the Schiehallion is currently wedged against is a ruin. Could this be the fabled outpost of the Metal Demons?

    What's inside is no match for the living metal of their technology, though. Loren gazes up at the interior of the tower's atrium, only to be taken aback as the droplet of 'water' falls--

    As the map of the world unfolds before them, a single point marked on Filgaia's surface.

    "Huh. I wonder where that's supposed to be..."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

OS approaches the dais...and they remain as impassive as ever as the MAP OF FILGAIA is shown in globe-form.

They are impassive still as the dot lights up with a designator: Capel Coffa.

"Capel Coffa," They answer the captain.

The Rachiel Jr doll climbs up OS's shoulder and sits down on it. "Hm..." Rachiel says through the doll. Despite acting as a bit of a goof sometimes, behind that goofiness is a person who graduated top of her class and ought to have had a far grander destiny than serving as the babysitter for some weapon project.

Or at least, that's what her classmates would have said if they knew where she was now.

"It's not just Capel Coffa that intrigues me." Rachiel Jr cups her chin. "Not all of the land masses... look correct with our current maps. It must be PreCollapse...but to think that there was this much change... Major, shall we investigate further?"

<Pose Tracker> Leah Sadalbari has posed.

Leah keeps her own counsel as to what precisely she thinks, for now. But she watches very carefully. She sees it, and she sees the world...

"Yes," Leah says. "But we'll send specialized teams. Record everything you see. I want a detailed reproduction ready by the time we meet back up. I'll be assisting with this, naturally, but I have the tools only for the start of an investigation."

"You've all done very well. I'll make note of it in my report."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Understood. Recording transferred to base." OS says. "Condensation is considerable on our externals."

"Major. We will need to be dried."