Difference between revisions of "2020-05-15: Since I Last Saw You"

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(Created page with "*'''Log: Since I Last Saw You''' *'''Cast:''' Character :: Josephine Lovelace, Character :: Riesenlied, Character :: Leon Albus, Character :: Lily Keil, Char...")
 
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     "No kidding, Tiger. Looks too old to have been put up recently. Though, something more, hmm... specific'd be nice? Like, I dunno... some Zeboim guns would be perfect..."
 
     "No kidding, Tiger. Looks too old to have been put up recently. Though, something more, hmm... specific'd be nice? Like, I dunno... some Zeboim guns would be perfect..."
  
     oF course it's guns.
+
     Of course it's guns.
 
 
   
 
  
 
     Getting the now ice-coated wire out of the way takes a few good hits from hammer and mattock to clear the bulk of it. But inevitably, the tools snag, requiring a more direct approach.
 
     Getting the now ice-coated wire out of the way takes a few good hits from hammer and mattock to clear the bulk of it. But inevitably, the tools snag, requiring a more direct approach.

Latest revision as of 22:29, 18 May 2020


DG: A party led by Josephine Lovelace is now entering Aubefort Mountain.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Barrier *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The cave system of Aubefort Mountain is well-known to the herders of Kasutho
 Island. Indeed, one of their number is likely to have directed you here to
 the mountain, mentioning that there are multiple cave entrances and that not
 all of them are necessarily passable or even safe.

 Beyond that, they cannot overly help you: they only venture into the caves
 to quest after a lost sheep. Story has it that those who go too far never
 come out again.

 It's difficult to say which of the two -- impassable or unsafe -- the
 entrance through which you now walk falls under. The passage terminates a
 distance -- long enough that there is little light save that from the
 mountain crystals on the walls -- from the entrance, ending in a tangle of
 ancient barbed wire looped as a barrier to bar further exploration.

 You'll have to break through it. No question. But it is tenacious and
 tangling and rusted, making it a difficult prospect to remove.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/crystal-peak
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Wound===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    "Well, I suppose it's promising enough," the archaeologist surmises, finally letting her cigarette drop from her fingers and treading on it heavily with a booted foot.

    "All that business about them that goes in far enough not coming out again, at least. So, are we all feeling lucky?"

    In the end, it had gone more or less as Josie had supposed to Leon, back when he had been laid up after the blue-eyed man's attack. Kasutho was on the line of longitude where Eos Base had apparently once rested -- it seemed like a worthwhile next step in her quest to find another of those strange tablets.

    There are, as it turns out, an awful lot of ancient ruins and the like scattered on Kasutho. Who knew? It was just a matter of crossing out the ones that were highly unlikely, too dangerous to poke at for various reasons, and the ones that were already well-explored.
    As in, no joke, 'used as the community cold storage' underground ruins in one case.

    Oh, and of course, the funds she had said she'd needed to her hands on. As it had turned out, Aubefort was the third place on the island she'd looked at.
    Hopefully, this will turn out better than the one she'd poked around at that had been perhaps 76% slimes by residency.
    The fact that the shepherds around were able to vouch for this one's mysteriousness at least seems more plausible. No one had wanted to talk about One Million Slimes Cavern.

    "Let's see what's on in here," she says, heading into the entrance, snapping her fingers as she heads in to summon a small glowing sphere of light.

    It's not too far in when they encounter a tangle of ancient barbed wire. Josie kneels, peering at it. "Looks like it's seen better days, yeah?"

    Then she straightens and unceremoniously draws the well-used mattock and smashes it into the wire fencing.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Well-Used Mattock toward her party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied has heard of Josephine's call for help and, given Kasutho's proximity to Honeysday, been able to attend. She's feeling particularly energised today, and the leg braces have been powered enough to hopefully last for the whole Dig.

    "Do you think... we will see some sheep?" Riesenlied asks, putting her hands before her back. A pause. "N-not that I am eager to see some!" A complete and transparent lie. "But perhaps a Dig with sheep would be more enjoyable..."

    Josephine starts hammering away at the ancient barbed wire. "Hmm, do I have anything useful here?"

    She rummages around her pack, but she might be best off treating any wounds anyone catches from dealing with wire...

<Pose Tracker> Leon Albus has posed.

"Lucky enough," Leon says, with a slight yawn. Strange dreams -- nightmares, but he won't call them such -- have plagued him of late. He has a tired look to his eyes, and he follows after Josephine. He slows to a stop as he reaches the tangle of barbed wire.

"We could, perhaps," he answers Riesenlied. He pulls a sledgehammer from a loop on his belt. He swings the hammer back -- and then slams it down into the tangle of barbed wire.

"You think this one has promise, though, Josie?" he asks. "I'm hoping so, myself."

It would feel good, after some recent setbacks, to accomplish something for someone else.

DG: Leon Albus has used his Tool Field Sledge toward his party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily Keil would not have gone to One Million Slimes Cavern.

Here, however--she shrugs after a moment, shaking her head. Lucky or not, they're going in, and Lily is devoting her attention more to looking around for the point of no return, as it were, than to conversation. But she heads in as well, willing for the moment to rely on Josie's light and her own adjusting eyes until they see the barbed wire.

"A fairly conventional way to keep someone out," Lily notes. Then, she steps forward, and extends her hand. Freezing-cold mist begins to exude from her palm, her skin lighting up in blue lines, angles, and curves, rime frosting over its surface.

"I don't think we'll see sheep," Lily answers Riesenlied, though she has the grace to be gentle about it. "Or rather... I hope we don't, for the sake of this being what we're looking for. But it's probably true that we'll wish it were just sheep soon enough."

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"I don't know if I feel lucky," Elly tells Josie as she gazes forwards, "but I think that in the end we make our own luck... right?"

She says this as she holds up an object in one hand.

An object of courage.

An object of power.

An object of wisdom.

Three items linked in trio -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vs5DrMMWcQ

- BLASTING PUTTY!

Elly approaches the wire, crouches down and affixes the putty in a slightly counterintuitive way around the vertices of the tangle of wire. "You uh," Elly says, gesturing vaguely, "You don't want to stand in front of it when these go off -- it's probably going to be a little like a rusty shotgun..."

"Riesenlied, can I ask you something?" Elly calls towards her.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Undersea Explosive Pack toward her party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    "Isn't that true of everythin' on Filgaia?" puffs Shalune to Josie's question, taking a moment to really draw the motion out as she looks towards the barbed wire, crumbling with rust. "Stuff just seems to fall apart. No-one knew proper maintenance back then, I tells ya," she adds, her voice slipping back into the Granny impression she loves to pull out whenever getting grumpy.

    "They'd have to be some pretty hardy sheep to live down here. But if you're still feeling up to it afterwards, let's take a walk around!" she offers to Riese with a bright grin. "I've never been here, so I kinda wanted to take some pictures, so maybe we can find some place nice to sit afterwards."

    "Promise or not, it's kinda nice to just roll down into a dig without worryin' about anything else or a time limit or stuff like that," she notes to the open air, and then carefully flicks the barbed wire as she watches part of it flake off. "And I'm kinda hoping this means it's gonna be nice and manmade and normal? Maybe?"

    Anything else she could say is lost in the wonder of plastic explosives, and even if she hasn't seen the stuff before there's something about it that instinctively calls out to her, her intuition picking up on its purpose as Elly wraps it around some of the wires. "Ah-- I've got some wire and a little handheld detonator I fixed up the other day!" She rummages in a pocket.

    ... only to accidentally brush a little stone tablet also tucked near the bottom. There's a rush of power, a sudden swell of spiritual feeling...

    And the tiniest Dinoginos you've ever seen stares up at you from its perch on top of a tiny cairn of pebbles. It looks kind of unimpressed for a long moment, then ever so slowly waddles through a gap in the barbed wire.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Material - Dinowhatsit toward her party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei is always eager to help Josie out. She did not murder him, after all, and sometimes that's kind off the same thing as saving your life. And really, in this particular case, maybe everybody else's too??

Fei sees the barbed wire and raises his fist thoughtfully. He rears back as if to try to punch the barbed wire with his fist before suddenly...!

FEI TRIBUNAL

FEI 1: I don't know if this is the best way to deal with barbed wire.
FEI 2: We could try cutting it... the power of ... scissors...!
FEI 3: Destroy! Destroy it all!
FEI 4: *wearing labcoat, sighing* I can't believe this is what happens if we skip med school.

FEI REALITY

Fei slooowly lowers his fist, thinking about this obstacle for a moment before deciding to punch a guided shot at it! That's better than punching it directly with his fist probably!

Fei seems really proud of himself r ight now...!

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Barrier *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The cave system of Aubefort Mountain is well-known to the herders of Kasutho
 Island. Indeed, one of their number is likely to have directed you here to
 the mountain, mentioning that there are multiple cave entrances and that not
 all of them are necessarily passable or even safe.

 Beyond that, they cannot overly help you: they only venture into the caves
 to quest after a lost sheep. Story has it that those who go too far never
 come out again.

 It's difficult to say which of the two -- impassable or unsafe -- the
 entrance through which you now walk falls under. The passage terminates a
 distance -- long enough that there is little light save that from the
 mountain crystals on the walls -- from the entrance, ending in a tangle of
 ancient barbed wire looped as a barrier to bar further exploration.

 You'll have to break through it. No question. But it is tenacious and
 tangling and rusted, making it a difficult prospect to remove.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/crystal-peak
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Wound===========================================
DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Barrier.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Barrier *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The cave system of Aubefort Mountain is well-known to the herders of Kasutho
 Island. Indeed, one of their number is likely to have directed you here to
 the mountain, mentioning that there are multiple cave entrances and that not
 all of them are necessarily passable or even safe.

 Beyond that, they cannot overly help you: they only venture into the caves
 to quest after a lost sheep. Story has it that those who go too far never
 come out again.

 It's difficult to say which of the two -- impassable or unsafe -- the
 entrance through which you now walk falls under. The passage terminates a
 distance -- long enough that there is little light save that from the
 mountain crystals on the walls -- from the entrance, ending in a tangle of
 ancient barbed wire looped as a barrier to bar further exploration.

 You'll have to break through it. No question. But it is tenacious and
 tangling and rusted, making it a difficult prospect to remove.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/crystal-peak
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Wound===========================================
=======================<* Aubefort Mountain - Round 1 *>========================
=========================< Results - Ancient Barrier >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Undersea Explosive Pack             3   Brute   Effects: Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Well-Used Mattock                   2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Material - Dinowhatsit              2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leon Albus                          0 --(8)--> 8                   Pass
Field Sledge                        3   Brute   Effects: Rally
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Strengthen(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> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    "Well, sure, kiddo, but this tells me it's been around a dog's year," she says to Shalune, glancing over her shoulder at the younger woman.

    "Heh. Now that's a 'you' thing to say, Red," Josie remarks, a lopsided smile on her lips. "We make our own luck..."

    'Do you think... we will see some sheep?'

    Josie manages, against all odds, to keep a straight face. "Who knows, Sunshine," she remarks, shaking her head. "They didn't say nothing about any missing sheep, but who knows..." She glances, then, Shalune's way. "...Tell you what, we can go have a look-see down the mountain slope when we're done poking around in here. That is, if you're not bothered by goin' off to see a few."

    She shrugs, at Leon's question. "Seems more likely than the others I've looked at, else I wouldn't've called you all out here." Definitely more promising -- particularly with the ancient barbed wire down here -- than One Million Slimes Cavern* (*not its real name).

    "No kidding, Tiger. Looks too old to have been put up recently. Though, something more, hmm... specific'd be nice? Like, I dunno... some Zeboim guns would be perfect..."

    Of course it's guns.

    Getting the now ice-coated wire out of the way takes a few good hits from hammer and mattock to clear the bulk of it. But inevitably, the tools snag, requiring a more direct approach.

    Which might be helped by the blasting putty (everyone does move on back, as Elly recommends)...

    ...and then Fei's decision to direct his chi for the now rigged-to-blow setup here and closely on its heels the appearance of the most adorable Mountain Guardian, which Josie...
    Well, she tried to keep a straight face, even if she ultimately failed.

    At which point, the putty goes off like a firecracker, neatly solving the issue of the barbed wire.

    "Well, that's all done with, then," Josie remarks, in the aftermath. "Let's see what we've got!"

DG: Leon Albus has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Anomalous Drone *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Something zips past your head in the semi-shadows of this dimly lit section
 of this tunnel. You briefly catch a glimpse of it -- a small flying machine.
 A drone!

 What's something like that doing here?

 Perhaps if you're able to catch up to it or at least follow its path you
 might be able to tease out some clues about its purpose. But it's moving
 quite quickly indeed.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Secret=============================================
<Pose Tracker> Leon Albus has posed.

"Let's see what we have," Leon agrees. He starts through the path, into a tunnel. His eyes dart around, for a moment, as he looks around. Then, he starts walking forward and down the tunnel. He pauses, as he hears a buzzing.

They all hear the buzzing, in fact.

The drone comes by in a flash. It soars by, wind blowing some of Leon's hair, and then it surges on ahead down the tunnel. He draws in a sharp breath. "What--" His eyes widen. Then, he glances at Shalune.

Then, he glances at Josephine. Leon doesn't have to ask; he doesn't even have to consider. He pulls out the climbing rope, twirls it over his head, and then tries to catch it on the rope.

There is a little sigh when he does.

DG: Leon Albus has used his Tool Climbing Rope toward his party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    It's too late. Shalune's initial impression is to startle in surprise, and she finds her mouth automatically hinging open to protest with "It's not mine! It's not mine!"... but you can already see the stars building in her eyes, and a familiar glint that suggests she's ready to strip mine the place further into the ground for the sake of stealing-- recovering a valuable and cute piece of technology.

    So strong is the impulse, the Little Dipper's already in her hands even before she's finished speaking, and she finally abandons the pretense as she breaks into a determined grin, stamping down on the base of the floating scooter as if kickstarting it into the lurch of acceleration that follows. "--get back here!" she calls. "You can't hide from us~~!"

    She'll-- she'll probably be okay.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Little Dipper toward her party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Hooray, blasting putty! Lily looks a little nostalgic as she considers Elly applying it, actually. Simpler times, when she exploded things with tools.

"Zeboim guns would always be handy," Lily answers Josie. She says nothing about the adorable miniginos. But she sure sees it. Instead, though, she starts walking along, taking up the rear of the group with her eyes open and her other senses at the ready. But suddenly--

"What," Lily starts, and brings a hand up to her collarbone, where she readies the strange necklace she once fond at an ancient Zeboim ruin of another stripe. She focuses into it, and makes the same two places, two disparate times--

And then Lily is acting in multiple places at once, a blue sphere of power erupting from her original position as mostly--

Well she just sort of seems to skip some of the intervening distance to all accounts, as the ones that miss disappear.

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Impure Pendant toward her party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "You look unwell, Leon... have you been ill? Let me know if I can heal you, at any point," Riesenlied enthusiastically says to Leon. She wants to be, if nothing else, someone the party can rally around today. She looks like she's quite motivated, at that.

    Lily says they'll probably not see sheep. "It would be a shame if someone got lost here, true, but..." Ooh, thinking of the round, wooly sheep...

    Elly pipes up to ask something-- "Ah, what is it, Elly?"

    She does hurry away from her blasting powder, and perks up at Shalune. "Shalune! It has been a while... how have things been for you and the others?"

    Fei blasts a shot and Josie remarks that they should step on through-- and a drone zooms on by. "Oh..."

    She tilts her head.

    "Cucco! I summon you!"

    A Cucco, inexplicably, descends from somewhere to try to land on the drone.

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    She just grins, briefly, when Lily agrees with her general sentiment, before pushing on ahead.

    Speak of the devil, in a sense. Josie wanted something with more of a suggestion that this could be the place she was looking for, and, well, she gets it.

    "What the--"

    She has time enough to share a look with Leon and Shalune -- the latter of which declares repeatedly that it's not hers -- before dashing off after it at a full tilt. Perhaps if it gets snared or slowed by one of the others, she might be there to catch it...!
    Assuming Shalune doesn't beat her to it, that is.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Well, this is a little strange," Elly asks Riesenlied, "but -"

"Why is the plural of sheep, sheep, when the plural of horse is horses? I had to memorize all of these exceptions and I can't figure out," Elly begins to say to Riesenlied, before

A. her prompting makes Elly look towards Leon with concern
B. a drone goes WHIZZ! past them. Her hair is stirred visibly by its passage. Elly blinks several times, and gets out her fishing reel.

She does not unpack the entire line, because this is close quarters. So it looks kind of dumb when she holds this snub-length fishing rod, warily watching for the aerial intruder.

(She smiles at Fei. Perhaps she's proud of him in turn.)

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Fishing Tackle toward her party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei quirks his headas he sees the drone. He blinks a couple of times dumbly and says, "Guess we should probably try to avoid--"

He pauses as Leon tries to LASSO it.
R
"Or uh--we can...follow it? Is that the plan? It's probably going to lead to something dangerous--"

He missed Leon being ill because he was being a frickin' cowboy but when Riesenlied mentions it, he looks at her for a while.

And then towards the cuccoo.

Fei hesitates perilously before leaping for the drone. "I'm sorry if I scare you I'm sorry--" He whispers quickly to himself. Elly gets a smile back. Will she use the PERFECT CAST?

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Anomalous Drone.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Anomalous Drone *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Something zips past your head in the semi-shadows of this dimly lit section
 of this tunnel. You briefly catch a glimpse of it -- a small flying machine.
 A drone!

 What's something like that doing here?

 Perhaps if you're able to catch up to it or at least follow its path you
 might be able to tease out some clues about its purpose. But it's moving
 quite quickly indeed.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Secret=============================================
=======================<* Aubefort Mountain - Round 2 *>========================
=========================< Results - Anomalous Drone >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Fishing Tackle                      2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  8 --(8)--> 16                  Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Impure Pendant                      3   Agility Effects: Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Little Dipper                       2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leon Albus                          8 --(8)--> 16                  Pass
Climbing Rope                       2   Agility Effects: Quicken
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Secret(2)|Slow(2)|Wound(1)
Effects: Quicken(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> Leon Albus has posed.

"Ah--no, I just slept poorly last night," Leon says to Riese, with a shake of his head. "It's nothing to be worried about."

The drone proves wily. It manages to fly out of the reach of Leon's rope, but it has to swerve to not hit Lily, as she appears near it. It dives underneath a cucco -- and then just out of Josie's grasping hands. It has to veer harder, away from Elly's rod and Fei's leap.

And that drives the drone into the waiting arms of Shalune Amira.

Mission... accomplished.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Aubefort Mountain *>============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Oversized Crystal *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you traverse the paths within the mountain, your passage lit only by
 small glowing crystals on the wall and what sources you may have brought
 with you, you find that the path ahead seems to be becoming brighter.

 You find out why once you round a bend: one of the crystals has grown to be
 quite massive, overtaking the tunnel itself with its luminous bulk. You'll
 have to remove it if you want to continue down this way.

 The good news is that this will result in pocketable crystal fragments, one
 way or another.
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Treasure====================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei looks towards Leon Albus for a long moment. Memories flash by. In summary, they all go like this.

ALL OF FEI'S FRIENDS: Wow you look like shit! Are you okay??
FEI: I'm just tired.
*fast forward a few weeks*
FEI: I'MA BLOW UP ADLEHYDE!!

He looks faintly concerned and rests a hand on Leon's shoulder. "Hey, if you're having trouble sleeping...because of horrifying nightmares that weigh on your soul and make you question your existence while slowly wearing down your mental resillience... You can tell me, man, I'll understand. I've been there."

He pats him twice more. Pat pat.

"You're a good friend and we'll get you some good beds to sleep in. I made some money recently and I can afford a nice room somewhere instead of a cheap one. For both you and Lily."

He winks.

And then the group passes around a bend and comes face to face with... A GIANT CRYSTAL.
rFei blinks at it twice. A strange melody fills his heart even though it's basically like just a bunch of scales?

And then he launches a hot red chi blast at it with l ittle fanffare.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool The Other Guy Lends a Hand toward his party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "Ah, okay... just let me know. I prepared some drinks as well, so we would not be dehydrated during this Dig," Riesenlied nods. She doesn't seem to think it's because of horrifying nightmares that weigh upon the soul and more because, well, sometimes you just sleep bad.

    Elly wonders why the plural of sheep is sheep. "Oh. Is it because the sheep already embody the letter 'S'? I mean, when I hear 'S', I think... Sheep! Therefore, they, in their round, benevolent wisdom that is round, do not hog the 's' and let others have it."

    ... yes... that's exactly it?

    She peers to Shalune to say, "Ooh, what will you do with that, Shalune?"

    Before long, though, crystal blocks their path. "Crystal... hmm... crystal..."

    She focuses for a moment, yelping as Fei blasts it with crystal, but summons -- her own crystal sword, the Heritor's. "I wonder, is there such a thing as resonance between crystals?" She focuses on the blade, as if to make it thrum and vibrate on a certain resonance...

    "If I just believe in the crystals!"

    The FF in this MUSH is the wrong type, Riese...

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    The mechanic's arms enfold the drone in a loving embrace, and Shalune doesn't even seem to mind in the slightest that it's a hard metallic whirring thing as she blobs out and rubs her cheek against the side of the little machine. "Awww-- there, there, come to Granny Shaluneee~~ I'll take good care of you and fix you up real good and make sure you're polished to a super shine and everything..."

    If the drone looks perturbed, well, that's understandable.

    Shalune perks up when Riese asks her how everyone has been doing, and perhaps it's a sign of growth that she pauses with a faint smile on her face to actually think about the question, rather than just chirp out the first thing that comes to mind. "Hmm... things are really good, I think! Lunie's looking both a lot happier and a lot more exasperated all at the same time, which means a lot more fun for me. Jay's doin' good, and I'm kind of in my element on this side of the world. Ah-- not that I don't want to go back to Wayside, though! There's a lot of people to catch up with!"

    "Oh, as for this little guy... hmm, whatcha think, Miss Josie?" she remembers herself as she offers over the drone for inspection, turning it over in her hands with a thoughtful frown. "Should I stick a bell on it and we see where it takes us in here? Though... it kinda looks like it's fainted," she mumbles, hefting the little drone in her hands where it's deactivated out of self-preservation. Not that that will work: "... should we take a peek inside it?"

    With half her brain pondering the possibilities and half her brain temporarily halted as it tries to process the idea of Fei almost flirting with Leon as Lily looks on, she can't be blamed for the Little Dipper bonking off the side of the passageway they're going down, and she yelps in surprise as the scooter nearly tips over.

    Ahead, the miniature Dinoginos has apparently reached the crystal before the group, and is seemingly content to work slowly but steadily. If only it weren't quite literally eating the profits...

<Pose Tracker> Leon Albus has posed.

"They are some disturbing dreams," Leon admits to Fei. "Though... I have trouble remembering the details." He looks at Fei -- blinks -- and then makes a face.

"The beds on the Karlsefni aren't bad, though..." They are a little hard. Zeboim-era beds are less technological marvels and more slabs of marble.

He follows after, then he pauses as he looks at the large crystal. "Glad to hear it, Shalune. Now, then..."

Leon proves that, perhaps, he has the same approach to most problems. For, when he sees a large crystal, his answer is to pull out his shotgun and shoot it.

DG: Leon Albus has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    Josie nears the speeding drone, diverted just enough by Leon's rope if not exactly snared. A little more and she'll have it--

    Suddenly, there's a cucco. Josie veers out of its way! Josie... stumbles.

    It's neatly caught by Shalune. Slowing to a stop, Josie leans against the tunnel wall a moment, breathing hard. "Whew... nice catch," she says, once she has her breath back. Then, with a brief grin and a jerk of her head, proceeds to amble onwards.

    Slowing her pace some, she's able to rethread herself back into the conversation somewhat. "...Sheep?"

    Pause.

    "Oh, right. Your lot don't speak... got it." She considers Elly thoughtfully for a moment. "If you wanna know why it's not 'sheeps', well, I'll tell you, kiddo."

    Another pause.

    "Because."

    Given the grin she's got on, she's definitely being a troll again right now.

    "Hm?" She glances down at Shalune. "A bell, eh... maybe put a leash on it, actually. Caves like this can absorb sound like you wouldn't believe. Get a long enough line, though, and Bob's your uncle." Then she raises an eyebrow, glances at Shalune, then down at the inert drone and slowly, slowly begins to smile.

    "...I'd love to take it apart <3" she says, the heart effectively audible.
    Hopefully, the drone stays out.

    At least (for its sake) they happen upon the crystal, first. "Oh, damn," Josie breathes. "Now that's a-- hey, he's eating it!" says the Guardianist worshipper, suddenly quite put out at the sight of one of her own religious figures chewing away on the crystal. "Guess there's nothing else for it--"

    She pulls out the mattock and swings for the proverbial fences. ...After Leon shoots at it.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Well-Used Mattock toward her party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily is not a linguist. She cannot answer Elly's burning question. She could answer the matter of whether Leon is well. But Fei beats her to it, showing his concern. He mentions the horrible nightmares...

...

Lily notices the wink out of the corner of her vision.

For some reason at Leon's response she laughs faintly, though it doesn't last long; the matter of the dreams...

Lily comes to a stop near enough the crystals though, kneeling down to examine it thoughtfully. "So, no disintegrations," she considers after a moment, before pulling a small metal sheet from her jacket. "I'll hold you to that one, Fei."

She rises after that and focuses, starting to prepare a simple explosive spell. "I believe in... something," she comments to Riesenlied. "Hope your little friend likes his crystals hot."

Boom!!!

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Demolition Formula toward her party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Hear...

Think...

Feel...

Elly hears Riesenlied giving her a reasonable answer. "So you think that the words that already have the letter S have that rule...? That seems to make sense," Elly muses, not immediately thinking of a countervailing argument.

She eyeballs the drone Shalune captures as she brings her tackle back on board. "Are they the same, every time?" Elly asks Leon, quietly.

Then they are faced with the crystal.

Elly narrows her eyes at it.

She sucks in a deep breath. She keeps sucking it in as she steps closer. She tries to look serious, but she steals a brief, almost playful glance at Fei as she gets closer, and then -

S H R I E K S at it in a rising high-C cascade...!!

She thinks that's a good idea.

She would FEEL cool if it worked.

If it doesn't, she has a stick.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Material - Dinowhatsit toward her party's challenge, Oversized Crystal.
===========================<* Aubefort Mountain *>============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Oversized Crystal *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you traverse the paths within the mountain, your passage lit only by
 small glowing crystals on the wall and what sources you may have brought
 with you, you find that the path ahead seems to be becoming brighter.

 You find out why once you round a bend: one of the crystals has grown to be
 quite massive, overtaking the tunnel itself with its luminous bulk. You'll
 have to remove it if you want to continue down this way.

 The good news is that this will result in pocketable crystal fragments, one
 way or another.
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Treasure====================================
======================<* Aubefort Mountain - Round 3 *>=======================
=======================< Results - Oversized Crystal >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
The Other Guy Lends a Hand          4   Brute   Effects: None
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  16 --(8)--> 24                 Fail
Well-Used Mattock                   2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
Demolition Formula                  3   Brute   Effects: Rally
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
Material - Dinowhatsit              2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leon Albus                          16 --(8)--> 24                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          40 --(35)--> 75                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(2)|Secret(1)|Slow(1)|Treasure(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace has passed this challenge! The party gained 35 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

The crystal is surprisingly tough against MATTOCKing, perhaps you need a CRYSTAL MATTOCK to work against Crystal such as this. Find a blacksmith to upgrade the tool??

Regardless, the group makes pretty shotr work of the crystals otherwise. Fei's chi is, uh, well k nown to be quite good at...breaking stuff and Riesenlied's sword has been upgraded to CRYSTAL quality--which means it can cut crystal, obviously. That's how it works and, well, Dinoginos..is not made out of crystal...but that's okay because it's a robot and that's probably higher level than crystal already? Look, the upgrade chain is a little confusing for mechanist and salvager classes.

"Why wouldn't you believe in the crystals?" Fei asks. "They're right there."

Uh..uh...Leon clearly got...crystal ammo???? Okay, that's getting a little ridiculous but hey, it works, as does Lily's terrible cosmic power.

"Maybe we can get some in some...big city? Like a nice mattress? Or a blanket?"

DG: Lily Keil has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Since I Last Saw You *>=====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The tunnels at last give way to a massive metal door, separating some
 ancient confines from the rest of the tunnels beneath the mountain. A panel
 suddenly lights up near to the door frame.

 Green text scrolls across it, rendering after a moment into Zeboim script:

 Systems.Systems.Systems.Systems.Still.Online.
 ID.De.Tect.Ed.Unknown.Subjects.Detec.Ed.Linguistic.Scan.Complete.

 A tinny and broken-up electronic voice crackles into the room, in passable
 modern tongue:

 "Welcome.Doctor.Sh-Sh-Sh-Sharon.Wyatt-t-t-t-t.

 It.Has.Been.OVERRUNERROR.Days.Since
 Since.
 Since.
 Since.
 I.I.I.I.I.I.I-I-I-I-I.
 Last.Saw.You.
 I.I.I-I-I.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.System.Cannot.Shut-
 Down.System.Cannot.ShutDOWN.System.Cannot.SHUTdown.Please.System.System.Syst
 em.Purge.System.Purge.Denied.System.Cannot.Purge.Cannot.Cannot.CANNOT."

 More text suddenly scrolls, rapidly, across the screen next to the door:

 >ORDERORDERORDERORDERORDERXr557qwf4xxx_

 Followed by:

 PURGE OVERRIDE GRANTED

 Electricity surges across the door and nearby walls; several panels open up
 to reveal heavy weaponry, which begins to unload into the room, alongside
 what appears to be a bevy of security hostile drones.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/broken-vessel
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Madness==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily appreciates Elly's maneuver. Generally she appreciates destruction, but that in particular....

Well, she steps forward with some amusement over the mattr of the crystals after picking up some of the chunks and putting them away in her bag. "Kattlelox, maybe," Lily suggests to Fei, and this time she leads the way into the tunnels, and into another chamber shortly after. She steps inside, turning forward again as she does--

A massive metal door looms before the group, panel lighting up in green text. "<Systems>," Lily starts to read aloud, and then... blinks. There is plenty of time for the group as a whole to step inside before the tinny, broken-up electronic voice crackles its greeting, perhaps as soon as the last set of feet makes it inside.

"Welcome.Doctor.Sh-Sh-Sh-Sharon.Wyatt-t-t-t-t."

Lily's eyes widen as she looks over the machine, listens to the way it speaks. "Over... Error? I--"

It.Has.Been.OVERRUNERROR.Days.Since
Since.
Since.
Since.
I.I.I.I.I.I.I-I-I-I-I.
Last.Saw.You.

Lily shakes her head, and then speaks in Zeboim, "<Identify yourself, system.>"

System designation Aurora. Please. Please."

"What... is it that you want?" Lily asks, taking half a step back. The system's voice continues.

I.I.I-I-I.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.System.Cannot.Shut-Down.System.Cannot.ShutDOWN.System.Cannot.SHUTdown.Please.System.System.System.Purge.System.Purge.Denied.System.Cannot.Purge.Cannot.Cannot.CANNOT."

"System--System, stop! <Override>!"

More text suddenly scrolls, rapidly, across the screen next to the door:

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily appreciates Elly's maneuver. Generally she appreciates destruction, but that in particular....

Well, she steps forward with some amusement over the mattr of the crystals after picking up some of the chunks and putting them away in her bag. "Kattlelox, maybe," Lily suggests to Fei, and this time she leads the way into the tunnels, and into another chamber shortly after. She steps inside, turning forward again as she does--

A massive metal door looms before the group, panel lighting up in green text. "<Systems>," Lily starts to read aloud, and then... blinks. There is plenty of time for the group as a whole to step inside before the tinny, broken-up electronic voice crackles its greeting, perhaps as soon as the last set of feet makes it inside.

"Welcome.Doctor.Sh-Sh-Sh-Sharon.Wyatt-t-t-t-t."

Lily's eyes widen as she looks over the machine, listens to the way it speaks. "Over... Error? I--"

It.Has.Been.OVERRUNERROR.Days.Since
Since.
Since.
Since.
I.I.I.I.I.I.I-I-I-I-I.
Last.Saw.You.

Lily shakes her head, and then speaks in Zeboim, "<Identify yourself, system.>"

System designation Aurora. Please. Please."

"What... is it that you want?" Lily asks, taking half a step back. The system's voice continues.

I.I.I-I-I.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.System.Cannot.Shut-Down.System.Cannot.ShutDOWN.System.Cannot.SHUTdown.Please.System.System.System.Purge.System.Purge.Denied.System.Cannot.Purge.Cannot.Cannot.CANNOT."

"System--System, stop! <Override>!"

More text suddenly scrolls, rapidly, across the screen next to the door:

>ORDERORDERORDERORDERORDERXr557qwf4xxx_

Followed by:

PURGE OVERRIDE GRANTED

Lily throws out her hands and a golden field erupts around her, just as electricity surges across the door and nearby walls. Several panels open to reveal heavy weaponry, kwhich begins to unloadf into the room, alongside entirely too many hostile security drones.

The only time to react is the half second that field is up.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "Mmm, perhaps not all S words... S-words, like Swords..." Riesenlied does try to poke holes in her own logic, at least. "Perhaps it is because Sheep govern the letter S so much. Come to think of it, the letter S is somewhat antithetical to the concept of roundness, is it not?"

    This is one of those moods of hers, isn't it?

    She does look down to Shalune's mini-Dinoginos to say, "You have become quite attuned with Dinoginos, have you not? It is wonderful to see..."

    She looks to Leon and murmurs, "Disturbing dreams... I think I understand a little."

    Josephine mentions a little on how she'd like some crystals too, and hums to the both of the loot-opportunists in the party. "Hmm... crystals are very convenient, are they not? Though I have enough..."

    The crystal sword does help in the end, though--

    "Eh? Sharon..." Riesenlied blinks a few times, then quietly looks to Lily.

    She doesn't quite know the Zeboim language, so it's only in snippets that she gets the exchange as Lily replies to it;

    "Please...?" she murmurs. "Oh no! Should we save it, somehow? S-Shalune, is there some kind of thing you can do against machines?"

    Still, against machines of sufficient technology, she's managed to find a way to be useful before: she gathers power into the Dragon's Tear and-- tries finding some kind of way to spread her conscience over some of the machines to coax them into shutting down!

    Because light interacts with light, you see.

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Oh geeze," Fei says in a tiny word balloon in the background when it welcomes Doctor Sharon Wyatt. This is not really unpredictable for him so he sounds more resigned, like he's expecting to have to mop up a floor or pick up a lot of trash all of a sudden than afraid or nervous.

Fei reaches into his pocket and draws out his RPS Badge. It's rather dinged up by now and he looks at it with a bit of sadness in his eyes. "I guess you can't really make pans that last a few thousand years and expect it to last."

He slowly pockets the badge once more before he darts into the drones, throwing violence left and right.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool RPS Badge toward his party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
<Pose Tracker> Leon Albus has posed.

"That's--"

Leon's eyes widen a little when the system greets Lily as Sharon Wyatt. By now, he knows this is nothing to ignore. He knows that this can happen. It still sets him on edge, and the way it keeps speaking gives him pause. "Lily," he says. "I think something is very wrong with it--"

He quiets, though. The golden energy field tells him what he needs to; the doors open, and drones pour out. His hand is at his belt; he presses a button on it, and then a trio of drones of his own launch off. They unfold, triangle-shaped, and make a barrier of aquamarine light.

"Take the drones out, first!" he orders. "We'll figure out what we can do for it next!"

The Captain draws his shotgun back out, takes aim at the first, and sends a slug flying for it.

DG: Leon Albus has used his Tool Raid Funnel toward his party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    "Only so long as we can put it together again afterwards," Shalune cautions with a wag of her finger, her other hand tightening around the drone as she can sense its desire to escape. She's old enough and smart enough to know what a Josie heartmark means. "Well, mostly. I mean, a little experimenting is fine. If I have to replace some parts, that's probably gonna be good learning."

    "Wah!" she adds helpfully as Elly highs a high note, her eyebrows shooting upwards. This is, in her rather suspect attention span, definitely considered very cool. "Can you do that to wine glasses? I mean, it always seemed like a waste, but really cool at the same time--" she natters, right up until the air around them becomes a cacophony.

    "--that's Zeboim--" she blurts of the green text, because even if she doesn't stand a chance at actually reading it, she can at least recognize the style of the letters. More important is the voice, because it takes her a few seconds of cocking her head to pinpoint what about it seems so odd. When you've gone into digs as much as they have, one thing stands out: "--and that's not."

    Considering the dig equivalent of the Missing Link has to wait, though, because the pink-haired girl jolts upright at the first panel opening up to reveal a gun emplacement that's already beginning to spin up to speed. "Not when they're right about to shoot right at us!" she yelps towards Riesenlied, banking the Little Dipper in place to use its hull as temporary cover until it becomes clear that attacks are coming from both sides. "Droney? You wanna help us out a little? Please?!"

    But it's still does not respond. Ah, karma...

    Instead, Shalune mutters something under her breath, cocking her shotstaff to extend it out to its full length with one hand and digging in her pocket with the other. Whatever she's looking for, she finds it - and then flings it into the air, light glinting off of the small lump of mirror-shine metal. "Heads up!" she yells, wrenches the head of her weapon around with a couple of ratcheting clicks, and then fires a constant beam of laser light at the slate, its pattern reflecting and scattering every which way.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    Josie, well, pouts. It would be more dignified to call it a frown, but there is no reality in which this facial expression is a frown! "You've really turned into a stick-in-the-mud, kiddo," she laments, as if this were the gravest burden saddled upon her of late. "Well, fine. We'll do it the slow way, then." She shakes her head, as if she can't believe the sort of world into which she has been thrust...

    She stands with a poleaxed look for the moment as Elly lets rip a note that could shatter glass (and certainly cracks crystal). "Red, don't do opera," she deadpans, before going for the archaeologist's best friend.

    The mattock crashes against the crystal... which refuses to budge in the slightest. "...Pretty tough, huh," Josie remarks, backing up as Riesenlied's sword strike cracks into the stone and sends sizable shards of it clattering to the ground. Making the most of the moment, Josie stoops and gathers the most likely of the lot.
    She doesn't take another swing at the crystal. It'll fall to others to fracture this one.

    "Tell you what, Sunshine. You can have this one," she says to Riesenlied, in the aftermath, handing over a nice-sized chunk of clear rock. This means that she trails a moment after Lily, as she heads into the chamber. "Guess we really are in the right--"

    'Sharon Wyatt'.

    Josie immediately turns her head towards Lily, watching the woman in profile as she speaks to the machine--

    As she asks it what it is--

    As she pleads with it to--

    "--Shit," Josie utters, staring at the red text that crawls across the panel near the door. "I don't know what just happened, but this is--"

    One of the drones comes in fast, swooping low for her. Thinking fast, Josie pulls free her flask, uncapping it to slosh its content in a loose arc for the drone. The flask clatters to the floor even as she pulls the simple Aveh sidearm from her hip and fires.

    "Kid!" she shouts for Fei, snapping off another shot for the alcohol-soaked drone. "Get it! Let's find out if they burn!"

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Liquid Courage toward her party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

("I... well, I have to practice, but sometimes," Elly tells Shalune. "I sometimes wish I'd become a singer...")

Sharon Wyatt...

A name to conjure with.

Elly breathes out as the tension spikes upwards. Leon speaks up and Elly is already narrowing her eyes. She has to raise her hand to press the heel of her palm against her forehead to focus - it hurts, a little, and she wishes it didn't, but it doesn't hurt MUCH, it's a dehydrated-feeling not that sharp agonizing desperation -

Her eyes close. She sucks in a deep breath through her teeth--

T H U N D E R R O L L S in a massive downwards cascade around them, the snap-crack-th-th-THOOM of its aftermath echoing off the walls along with a brief gale force wind throughout the space. She breathes in again, and then she tells Fei, "I think that's the best I can do."

The staff gets snapped out now. (Elly pauses to detach the reel.)

"I suppose we'll have to clean up the hard way!"

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Three Stick Nunchucks toward her party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Since I Last Saw You.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Since I Last Saw You *>=====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The tunnels at last give way to a massive metal door, separating some
 ancient confines from the rest of the tunnels beneath the mountain. A panel
 suddenly lights up near to the door frame.

 Green text scrolls across it, rendering after a moment into Zeboim script:

 Systems.Systems.Systems.Systems.Still.Online.
 ID.De.Tect.Ed.Unknown.Subjects.Detec.Ed.Linguistic.Scan.Complete.

 A tinny and broken-up electronic voice crackles into the room, in passable
 modern tongue:

 "Welcome.Doctor.Sh-Sh-Sh-Sharon.Wyatt-t-t-t-t.

 It.Has.Been.OVERRUNERROR.Days.Since
 Since.
 Since.
 Since.
 I.I.I.I.I.I.I-I-I-I-I.
 Last.Saw.You.
 I.I.I-I-I.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.Want.To.Stop.Please.System.Cannot.Shut-
 Down.System.Cannot.ShutDOWN.System.Cannot.SHUTdown.Please.System.System.Syst
 em.Purge.System.Purge.Denied.System.Cannot.Purge.Cannot.Cannot.CANNOT."

 More text suddenly scrolls, rapidly, across the screen next to the door:

 >ORDERORDERORDERORDERORDERXr557qwf4xxx_

 Followed by:

 PURGE OVERRIDE GRANTED

 Electricity surges across the door and nearby walls; several panels open up
 to reveal heavy weaponry, which begins to unload into the room, alongside
 what appears to be a bevy of security hostile drones.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/broken-vessel
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Madness==========================================
=======================<* Aubefort Mountain - Round 4 *>========================
=======================< Results - Since I Last Saw You >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
RPS Badge                           3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
Three Stick Nunchucks               1   Combat  Effects: Stalwart and Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
Liquid Courage                      3   Combat  Effects: Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
Rings of Promise                    4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       24 --(12)--> 36                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leon Albus                          24 --(12)--> 36                Pass
Raid Funnel                         3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          75 --(0)--> 75                 Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Madness|Overzealous(1)
Effects:
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Josephine Lovelace has passed this challenge! The party gained 0 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

As Riesenlied spreads her consciousness over the machines, she detects something like emotion. It is rudimentary, simple, barely present, but it is pain. In interacting with it she can sense it, and at first the machine's light does not react. At first.

Fei's sad resignation serves him well enough. The drones are all too easy to break; well-made, strong, but they can be put down by violence and will. Another goes down to a slug from Leon's shotgun as his barrier absorbs machinegun fire meant for Riesenlied. Lasers go pop pop pop as Shalune gets her weapon going, and slam into weapon emplacements with each blip.

The wind Elly summons thunders through the walls, machinery shattering under its force and offering her plenty of time to get out her gun, while Josie takes a drone immediately with her flask. As it turns out?

They burn. They burn which is a good thing because the superior weaponry Shalune brings to bear draws some attention that has to be taken down by someone else. Which is good--because Lily recovers herself and moves for the terminal, which already starts to crackle to life again now that the first volley of weaponry is gone and done with. The systems whirr--but the display itself is now cracked, and it's hard to read the text.

th.th.th.th.th.th.th.th.th.th.th.th."
"ank.you..............._________________"

Riesenlied senses relief as the system shuts down. Lily just stares at the monitor in silent and clear horror. "W-what...?"

DG: Josephine Lovelace has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - To Open The Door *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Ultimately, one way or another, the room becomes quiet and still. The flurry
 of text on the panel by the door has since flatlined out, nothing now but a
 silent black screen.

 The door remains closed.

 By the looks of it, this door was built to withstand a direct hit from a
 missile -- even the no-doubt impressive extent of your powers might not be
 enough.

 But there's a keypad by the screen near the door. Perhaps -- perhaps! -- it
 might be possible to work out what the entry code might have been.

 Or figure out some clever way to circumvent the system altogether.

 Just be careful: the remnants of the earlier power surge still course the
 door.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/haunted-foes
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Injure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    The drones burn well, as it happens. From Fei's power, or from a stray spark set off by Josie's bullets...

    In the end, the room is still. The panel by the door displays nothing else but a blank black screen.

    "What was... all that, then," Josie hazards, picking her way across the wreckage strewn across the floor in here.

    Her goal is the door. It doesn't open, even when she approaches it. Touching it -- given the electricity pulsing across its surface -- may be somewhat unwise.

    She stands for a moment, gazing at it, then down at one of the fallen drones.

    Then her attention turns to the panel by the door.

    "Lunie," she says, pulling a screwdriver from her bag, "give me a hand with this one."

    She begins attempting to pry the dead screen from the wall.

    "Gotta be... something to override or such." Even if it's by force.

DG: Josephine Lovelace has used her Tool Lucky Screwdriver toward her party's challenge, To Open The Door.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied cups her mouth and covers herself as the machines begin firing, but Leon's barrier is there to protect her. "Thank you, Leon! I will try... ah?" She pauses, as she clutches her chest and gasps for a moment. "This pain that you are feeling..."

    She struggles through the battle, trying to control the drones that she can, trying to coax the machines to fire a little more erroneously, but at the end...

    The relief...

    "Oh no..." Riesenlied looks towards the machine as it shuts down. Her horns sag quietly as she places a hand against the-- wall, and whispers, "I am sorry. We could not do more... but I will at least-- look after her for you." She glances to Lily for a moment, nodding quietly.

    "... are you okay?" she asks, knowing this might be shocking right now.

    The door is still closed, but there is a keypad that Josie starts messing with. "Is anyone hurt? I will create a healing field with the Ley..."

    The Hyadean closes her eyes and generates one such power, a soft and ambient aura providing relief and healing as the engineers work.

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Heritor's Regalia toward her party's challenge, To Open The Door.
<Pose Tracker> Leon Albus has posed.

"Well," Leon concludes. "That could have gone worse."

He holsters his shotgun, and then looks at the panel that Josie indicates. She calls for Shalune's help; he doesn't approach, and instead stays back. He knows his area of expertise -- when it comes to ARMs, he is best with simpler ones. Weapons and the like, he knows how to use; these sorts, he would just be in the way.

He does glance at Riesenlied, though. Then, he looks at Lily, head tilted to the side. "Everything all right, after all that?"

DG: Leon Albus has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, To Open The Door.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    Shalune is breathing a little ragged by the time the noise stops, and the Little Dipper slowly sinks to the ground as if it were responding to the mood of its owner. The mechanic doesn't look too injured, but she's definitely had some nicks and scrapes, and she might need another patch on her bobble hat. Still, she's got enough in her to haul herself back up to her feet, glancing gratefully at Riesenlied as the air fills with her power.

    It takes her a few moments to take stock of the extent to which the system has shut itself down, and honestly that leaves her a little oddly conflicted. Should she be more affected? She's not really sure, but she can at least recognize when something meant something to someone else, and she keeps her voice quiet as she looks around her then nods towards Josie.

    Besides, she's aware she needs to concentrate. Zeboim technology is the sort of thing she knows least, and even if she's had some chances to study here and there she's never exactly gotten to the brass tacks of it, not least because Leon would probably be upset if she started really messing with his shiny new ship. So when she hunkers down next to Josie, it's with a determined look on her face and the intent to learn as much as she can.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Bag of Tricks toward her party's challenge, To Open The Door.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

It could have gone worse. It could have rained! Or they could be dead!

Elly breathes out in the moment as Josie moves towards a technical panel. She gets out a sol; she belts it down, looking towards Riesenlied and thinking for a moment: It would be nice to just sit and heal...

... but...

Something about the memory of Sharon...

"In a moment, maybe," Elly tells her, before going up towards Josie and saying, to her and Shalune both, "How can I help...?"

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Open The Door.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - To Open The Door *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Ultimately, one way or another, the room becomes quiet and still. The flurry
 of text on the panel by the door has since flatlined out, nothing now but a
 silent black screen.

 The door remains closed.

 By the looks of it, this door was built to withstand a direct hit from a
 missile -- even the no-doubt impressive extent of your powers might not be
 enough.

 But there's a keypad by the screen near the door. Perhaps -- perhaps! -- it
 might be possible to work out what the entry code might have been.

 Or figure out some clever way to circumvent the system altogether.

 Just be careful: the remnants of the earlier power surge still course the
 door.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/haunted-foes
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Injure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei looks at his hands for a moment after the battle, but he isn't going to feel too bad about smashing drones. It's just... something like this... is kind of horrifying, really, what happened to this system and he sees in moments like these how meager the ability to break anything really is.

That's how it is, Junior. You could destroy the world five times over and have no power at all.

Fei closes his eyes for a moment and then adds, "I hope we find what we're looking foor." He says as he approaches the keypad.

He frowns a little and says, "I remember reading in a detective novel..."

He reaches into his toolkit and draws out some white powder and dabs it onto the keypad.

"...I don't remember what happens after this." He admits bashfully.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Artist's Toolkit toward his party's challenge, To Open The Door.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"I..." Lily stares forward a little longer, through the broken screen as much as at it. It could've been worse, that much is true. At first she doesn't say anything, not until she's addressed. "Oh, I--Of course," Lily says, shaking her head and standing up straighter. "I'm fine."

It probably sounds about as convincing as the times Fei was thinking about earlier, and Lily sighs as she realizes this herself. "It's... fine. I was just surprised."

"...There's..." She shakes her head. "No reason it should be otherwise."

Lily has been studying exactly this kind of technology, lately; maybe she could help. But she doesn't, she finds.

"...Sorry, Aurora," she says quietly, watching them work.

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Open The Door.
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - To Open The Door *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Ultimately, one way or another, the room becomes quiet and still. The flurry
 of text on the panel by the door has since flatlined out, nothing now but a
 silent black screen.

 The door remains closed.

 By the looks of it, this door was built to withstand a direct hit from a
 missile -- even the no-doubt impressive extent of your powers might not be
 enough.

 But there's a keypad by the screen near the door. Perhaps -- perhaps! -- it
 might be possible to work out what the entry code might have been.

 Or figure out some clever way to circumvent the system altogether.

 Just be careful: the remnants of the earlier power surge still course the
 door.

 BGM: https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/track/haunted-foes
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Injure=========================================
=======================<* Aubefort Mountain - Round 5 *>========================
=========================< Results - To Open The Door >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fei Fong Wong                       36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Artist's Toolkit                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Josephine Lovelace                  36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Lucky Screwdriver                   2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Heritor's Regalia                   3   Wits    Effects: Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       36 --(8)--> 44                 Pass
Bag of Tricks                       2   Wits    Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leon Albus                          36 --(8)--> 44                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Josephine Lovelace          75 --(35)--> 110               Pass
Conditions: Fright(1)|Injure(2)|Madness|Reckless(2)
Effects: Enlighten(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 Aubefort Mountain!
============================<* Aubefort Mountain *>=============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Vishvagarbha *>=========================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The door opens to the chamber within the mountain, revealing the enclosed
 room within.

 Perhaps, once, this was a part of Eos Base -- certainly not the whole of it,
 for the warped metal chamber, even with its side areas, is far too small to
 have been the whole of a military organization. A bunker, perhaps.

 A little roaming about turns up a few things:

 First of all, what remains of the people who had holed up in this bunker,
 their bones still resting atop the metal mesh underlying their cots.
 Everything else has decayed in the millennia since.

 Secondly, a series of computers, along with half-rotted terminals tucked
 into a side room. With a little effort, some power might be restored from
 the still functional generator buried yet deeper in the mountain, but it's
 anyone's guess what, if anything, can be gleaned.

 And thirdly and perhaps most relevant to Josie's quest:

 Tucked in a metal container along with a few half-preserved scraps of paper,
 is the next tile of which she has sought.

 The last one, PRITHVI.

 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeisjIP9Gnw
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret, Treasure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

    The light of the Ley shimmers throughout the room, mending what wounds had been inflicted by the haywire security system.

    Josie focuses on what she knows best. "It's just a hunch," she says to Shalune, her voice low. "But maybe if we can get this thing off, we can..."

    Elly approaches, asking what she can do. "Actually... yes. Once I get this thing off, I want you to give what's under here a damn big but carefully focused jolt right..."

    The screen pops off, still tethered loosely by a series of wires.

    Maybe there's some way that Lily could have helped. More than likely, there could have been.

    But... sometimes...

    The pinpointed shock brings the system online -- in the same sense that you can make a corpse go through the semblance of life under the right conditions, immediately after death. The dangling screen lights up, though no welcoming text comes in.

    Josie drops the screwdriver and punches in the keys that still -- after all these thousands of years -- hold the traces of fingerprints, when dusted.
    No one has ever been down here since then.

    The door slides open. The system's temporary power surge fades.

    It's possible to enter within.

    No one has been in here in thousands of years. That much is clear -- dust covers surfaces. The air is still. It's dark: Josie again snaps her fingers to summon a small sphere of light.

    "Reminds me of a tomb," she comments, walking through the inside of the shelter slowly.

    Funny choice of words.

    "...Guess we know what happened, somewhat," she says, pulling back from the door carefully. "Don't go in there," she cautions. Not that it's all that different to what's in your usual tomb. Not that it's gruesome or horrible, or anything like that.
    There's just something sad about it.

    The next room bears far more fruit. Some of the computer screens display text, though much of it is garbled and strewn with glitched graphics. Others are simply black and dead. Josie, instead, silently moves through the room, picking up and looking at anything that can be picked up and looked at, digging through anything that can be dug through.

    Then she finds it, wedged in a metal container and half-wrapped in a piece of paper that goes to pieces when she grabs it.

    "Found it," she announces, quietly enough that it barely seems like the near end-point of a chase that has consumed her professional life.

    It hardly seems fitting to shout about it, under the circumstances.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied looks pretty tired by the time they've arrived at the end, even though there isn't another battle. "A detective novel?" she asks Fei. "I had wanted to read more kinds of books... maybe that would be pretty entertaining," she muses with a smile.

    Her smile softens as she nods to Lily and says, "Take as much time as you need... okay?"

    She turns to fuss over Shalune a little longer, noting that she might have to do repairs on the bobble hat, because Shalune has her own hyper-concerned engineer in some senses of the word. "Ah, I am myself okay, Leon..."

    There is a nod towards Elly as well, as Josephine procures something. "Oh, did you find what you were looking for...?" She looks quietly relieved, with a nod. "This dig was quite the surprise, with that voice and all. But I am glad we are all safe, still."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

    Shalune stares at the dark room ahead of them once the door slides open. From her point of view, it is a tomb - broken machinery and the passage of ages combine to make her bite her lip, shaking her head softly. She's not exactly given to philosophical thought, but the way in which there's so much lost in Filgaia does impress itself on her all over again, leaving her uncertain of what to say or do outside of a quiet sadness she's not sure how to deal with.

    And then there's a 'bomf' as Riesenlied starts fussing over her bobble hat, and Shalune suddenly turns blobby in the way of someone who's well aware of who their mother figure is and when they're getting attention from them. "A-aww..." she whines, as she fingers the garment uncertainly to feel for the edges of the new hole, then grins sheepishly at Riesenlied. "I guess I'll have to get some more thread. ... should I just, uh, try ditching the hat?" she wonders, as if it were heresy. It might actually be.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    ... should I just, uh, try ditching the hat?

    *TSHHHHHH*

    Riesenlied looks thunderstruck. She hasn't looked as horrified at something as... as... when she saw a square!