Tom D01s10

TheTale: Day One - Noon.
TheTale: In the Condemned One, a path into the Deep Aqueducts.
TheTale: The city's been around as long as the monsters remember. The remnant of some long-lost civilization, to be broken apart and remade to their whims.
TheTale: There's more city than monsters, so, a lot of places have gone forgotten, disused. Once a public bath, this particular one's just turned into a trash heap.
TheTale: (I mean, that's okay. There's tons more.)
TheTale: There was… an insidious killer, a human, who fled down here, apparently. And a knight, Nerswul, chased after them, extracting oaths from everyone else to be left to the matter alone.
TheTale: …A matter of pride, to have a victory to call his and his alone.
Lucnephwyr bravely tromps into the murky depths, the click-click-thud of his feet and staff. He sniffs the air a few times and then snorts- a very faint plume of smoke escapes his snout.
Shiba: "Hm-hmmm. You ever wonder about ruins like these? About generations before what we know as Sycorax?"
Lucnephwyr: "Sure do! History lessons in school can be kind of… um, broad."
Dog‘ trots over the stone, trying to keep to the drier areas. (They’re very small.)
Lucnephwyr: "So you fill in the little gaps with research and asking!"
Dog: "I heard it was a mermaid's house once!"
TheTale: Mud in the cracks between the dry spots rises and falls with wet squelches as the group head deeper and deeper.
Shiba snickers. "Ah, yeah, there's so much to cover. Most of it not even relevant."
Shiba: "Hell, even -I- don't recognize this, and I'm ancient."
TheTale: There's a brief climb up a water-lock. It's weighed down with rubble and silt, so there's no need to use the ruined ladder.
Lucnephwyr bunches up his robes a bit as he walks, but it ultimately proves to be futile against the ubiquitous mud. He considers it for a second, and turns it about in his head, accepting it as a badge of adventurer-ness.
TheTale: You can just hop up, really.
Shiba: "And if it was a mermaid's house once, keep your ears open for singing. It's a rare occasion, and they have beautiful voices, so I hear."
Lucnephwyr definitely takes the opportunity to take an FF7-leap up something rather than doing the rational, climbing bit.
Dog‘ bravely accepts their white fur turning into white and brown fur. They hop up the rubble - they’d have trouble with a ladder anyway
Lucnephwyr: "I'll keep an ear out! (Dog'll probably hear it first.)"
Dog: "Yup!" Proud bark!
TheTale: (There is a faint noise, of deep breathing, wind going in and out of the earth.)
TheTale: As you round the corner, however, there's a strange thing:
Shiba hoists herself up, somehow.
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: tail coils into a spring, obv
[OOC] Shiba: the logistics aren't important!!
TheTale: Strung tight over an archway is a barrier of thin, translucent string. Drawn tight and vertical - set into place like a curtain, anchored deep into the stone above and below.
TheTale: …The stone spidering, cracking where its made its roots.
TheTale: It slackens and tightens, breathing. There's a symbol dyed in it, a red eye. It bars your path.
TheTale: It's no spider's web - no strands across, just up and down.
Dog: "That's unusual!"
Lucnephwyr peeeeeeeeeers at it, testing it with his walking staff.
TheTale: It's cutting-sharp, whittling a corner of the staff as easy as butter.
Lucnephwyr frowns, steps back one pace.
Dog‘ whines. "It looks dangerous. Maybe we should try and find another way?"
TheTale: The symbol blinks.
Lucnephwyr: "Maaaaaaaaaaybe… would it have to do with… the Ark Mien knights…?" He tilts his head. [Lore?]
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Lucnephwyr: "Hello!…oh?"
TheTale: Lore: It’s unrelated to the knights. Something about the symbol seems vaguely familiar, though. You might… want to look something up later, when you get the chance. But you know that it's not any kind of monster magic, or something that would be practiced by anyone on your side.
TheTale: The symbol blinks slowly. Swivels from Luc to Shiba to down at the little dog.
Lucnephwyr: "Def-initely foreign, but it's sort of poking at my head."
Lucnephwyr: "We should go around it, somehow, yeah."
Lucnephwyr blinks back at the symbol and nods once.
TheTale: The weird barrier pulls itself taut, its strings twanging in the air.
Shiba: "The services, perhaps? Hmm."
Dog‘ whiiines when the eye looks at them.
Lucnephwyr: "Or maybe we should try destroying it, without touching it?"
Lucnephwyr: "I uh… don’t have much in the way of that though."
Shiba snickers, and extends a blade of golden light from her staff. "I've got something of the sort."
Lucnephwyr addresses the eye directly. "Can you speak? Or just blink? Blink twice for yes, once for no."
Lucnephwyr: "Or speak, that would be way easier."
TheTale: A noise from deep in the earth: "…d …r …k…"
TheTale: …
TheTale: The eye shuts, for a moment.
TheTale: …Then, blinks once.
Lucnephwyr: "Wow, okay."
Lucnephwyr: "Are you keeping something in- blink twice- or keeping something out- blink once?"
Dog: Dog cants Dog's head and watches carefully. Aroo?
Shiba: "… Just lemme know if you want me to give it a shot from afar."
TheTale: It blinks once.
Shiba: The bladed end flickers out. "But you seem to be on some sorta path."
Lucnephwyr: "Oh!" He gasps and covers his snout with his hands. "I forgot to introduce myself!"
Lucnephwyr: "I'm Lucnephwyr, pleased to meet you."
Shiba: "Is it some kinda super endboss, like a dark rabite?"
TheTale: It focuses a strange, piercing look on Shiba.
Dog: "Hi! I'm a Dog!" Cautious tailwag.
Lucnephwyr: "(You have to give them the yes/no two/one prompt I think!)"
Shiba: "Blink twice for yes, two for 'no'."
Lucnephwyr nods, satisfied, then turns back to the eye- doubletakes back to Shiba. "(um!!)"
Shiba: "… Once for 'no.' Ahem."
TheTale: Uncertainly, it blinks twice.
Lucnephwyr: "Whew! Anyway, we're looking for our friend, so it probably has nothing to do with who you're keeping out."
Lucnephwyr: "May we pass through, unharmed? Yes twice, no once please and thank you."
TheTale: Blink.
Lucnephwyr: "Oh."
Lucnephwyr: "Well, is what's behind you a human? Yes twice, no once, please and thank you again."
Shiba: "(Hm. Wait, no, mermaids suck at singing. It's sirens that you want."
Dog: "(I'll remember!)"
TheTale: Blink.
TheTale: Blink.
TheTale: Blink.
Lucnephwyr turns his head all the way to the side.
Shiba: "Yes -and- no, I'd imagine."
Lucnephwyr: "Well now we -have- to go through!"
Dog: "Um, we really need to help our friend back there, mister or miss or mix web!"
TheTale: Nonetheless, it patiently bars your path, its strings anchored into the rock above and beneath it
Lucnephwyr pokes at one of the 'roots' of the 'web' with the other end of his staff.
Shiba: "I think we've about exhausted diplomacy as an option."
Lucnephwyr: "Hmm, yeeah…"
Dog: "So we'll just have to go around, right?"
Lucnephwyr backs up a bit after his experiment.
Shiba: "Or break through. Or tunnel around. Did we see another path around, though?"
Lucnephwyr: "Ehh… this -is- the first tunnel we've found, so…"
Lucnephwyr: "(But it seems so… important!)"
TheTale: Luc: A bit of the stone crumbles at the touch.
TheTale: One of the strands snaps back with a twang, retreating into the stone.
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Lucnephwyr inches forward and prods at the other strings at their anchor points along the floor
Shiba slithers up and takes the other half. No reason not to make this go faster.
Dog‘ hops forward and starts digging at one of the rocks, too!
Dog: "Sorry, sorry! But we really have to get through!"
TheTale: The barrier retreats as each of its strands come loose, leaving no sign of its presence other than the thin holes it left in the stone above and below.
Lucnephwyr: "Okay!" Quick test of waving his staff through where the barrier was.
TheTale: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it suddenly snapped out and guillotined you on the spot…?
TheTale: …
TheTale: …That doesn't happen, though.
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: to be fair it would be hysterical
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: emphasis on hysterics
Lucnephwyr: "Let's tread carefully now that we know -someones- are down there!"
Shiba: "Right, right." That went well. Didn't involve the unelegant alternative of blasting the barrier down. Shiba's smiling at that.
Dog: "I'll be extra quiet," Dog says. They hurry quickly past the barrier, though. It still makes them a little nervous.
Lucnephwyr scurries forward!
TheTale: The aqueducts run parallel to what seems like some building's ordinary catacombs - the walls between them broken down at one point.
TheTale: Through the fissure, you can hear something…
TheTale: Moving, a weird, gentle little "tsh tsh tsh tsh" .
TheTale: Keeping…
TheTale: A beat.
Lucnephwyr suppresses the urge to dance.
Shiba tilts her head. A heartbeat? Are they in an, um, atrium of some sort?
TheTale: Not yet.
TheTale: (Peek through, maybe?)
Lucnephwyr puts an eye up to the fissure. Not -on- it, so he can avoid the 'he pulls back and has black rings around his eyes' gag.
Dog: "(What is it, what is it?)" Dog is too small to peek through without getting up on Dog's hind legs.
Shiba peers further down the aqueduct, looking for any trace of their quarry in the meantime.
TheTale: They're…
TheTale: Cymbals.
TheTale: There's little cymbals there, on the other side of the wall, walking around on tiny legs, going 'tsh tsh tsh'.
Lucnephwyr pulls back. "(Cymbals with legs! I always wondered if someone could reincarnate as two objects that were functionally one -thing-.)"
Lucnephwyr: "(Or maybe that's not what's going on, but!)"
Shiba: "(Hmmm. Wanna bust through here, or keep going down the aqueduct?)"
TheTale: They're walking in a little circle, like three little toy soldiers on patrol.
TheTale: So weird.
Lucnephwyr: "(Keep going, probably, we're not looking for cymbals.)"
Dog: Dog wags their tail a few times. "(We shouldn't disturb them, right?)"
Lucnephwyr nods at Dog!
Lucnephwyr: "(Right!)"
Shiba: "(Noted.)" And she slithers ahead further down the aqueduct.
Dog‘ trots along! (Small legs mean faster walking speed.)
Lucnephwyr: "(Though… they -could- be guards. Set up by… uh… either the human or Nerswul, so that when disturbed, they make a lot of noise.)"
Lucnephwyr: "(I’ve been considering that since we broke the barrier, really, maybe that made a magical noise somewhere once it was gone. Or maybe it didn't and was expecting to be blown up by something big and loud?)"
Lucnephwyr follows after the other two.
TheTale: There's a fork - the aqueduct's source, and another branch fed off of it, in addition to the one you came from.
TheTale: That other branch simply spills out into a tremendous cavern, a sinkhole having ripped whatever foundation was once here out.
Shiba: "(I'd wager the human, if they're related to the barrier.)"
TheTale: Stone spires and precarious bridges.
TheTale: A wind blows from within the great cavern, and little scraps of paper swirl in, then are sucked back out.
TheTale: …Though, one gets caught on Dog's tail.
Dog: "Aroo?" Dog looks back at Dog's tail, catches the bit of paper in their teeth, drops it down to have a look at it.
TheTale: It's water-stained beyond legibility, but what it once was is clear: Sheet music.
Lucnephwyr peeeeeeeeeeeeeers into the giant cavern, out of curiosity more than duty.
Dog: "Little scraps of…" Dog remembers to be quiet. "(Sheet music? Strange!)"
Lucnephwyr turns about, ambles up to Dog.
Lucnephwyr: "(We've found the lost Musician's Quarter!)"
Shiba: "(There was a whole quarter for musicians?)"
TheTale: …There's a faint light, at the bottom of the cavern.
Lucnephwyr: "(And now there's not, and that's how blues was invented.)" Immediately after delivering this line he scurries past Shiba.
TheTale: The ledge shifts underneath your feet, Luc, the old stone threatening to give way.
Lucnephwyr: "!" He hops backwards.
Dog‘ whines! "(You okay??)"
Lucnephwyr: "I’m fine- (erm, I'm okay! We may want to move though- uh… exploring the rest of the aqueduct first, before we have to take any chances?)"
Shiba: "(Yeah, this looks like a one-way trip.)"
Dog: "(Scary…)"
Dog: "(Let's find another way!)"
Lucnephwyr nods and heads away from the yawning, glowing abyss, deeper into the Aqueduct.
Shiba nods and slithers ahead down the aqueduct instead.
Dog‘ skitters along with them!
TheTale: In a little alcove, there’s signs of a camp - a bedroll, a few notebooks, a cold lantern, a pile of ashes where once a fire was kept.
TheTale: The aqueduct flows happily on. The noise of pumping breath feels a little quieter, here.
TheTale: The wind is at your backs.
TheTale: You can go closer to the source, beyond it.
Lucnephwyr squints and attempts to read one of the notebooks.
TheTale: Dates. Records of the weather. And counts.
TheTale: There seem to be three days missing every so once in a while.
TheTale: They go back for months.
TheTale: "24"
TheTale: "7"
TheTale: "3"
TheTale: …
Shiba: "The human's hideout, perhaps?"
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: * When's the most recent date? Today? Yesterday? Two days ago?-
TheTale: Whoever wrote these, they were pretty diligent.
TheTale: …The most recent date…?
TheTale: Not in that notebook, but in another one…
TheTale: Yesterday.
Lucnephwyr: "Maybe. Someone's, at least. Every now and then it skips three days."
Dog‘ sniffs around for any interesting smells! Aside from… the general aquaduct.
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: * Do the counts go in any order? Ascending, descending, or is it seemingly random?
Lucnephwyr: "Most recent date… (was yesterday, so either they’re out for a count of three days now, or they'll be back at any minute?)"
TheTale: Dog: Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that!
Shiba: "(Or our Ark Mien friend got ahold of them.)"
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: inexorable consequence of having a dog for a party member :3
TheTale: Luc: Hmm… the counts aren't ascending or descending, but they aren't really random either. When they go up, they tend to stay up for a hwile.
TheTale: When they go down, they go down for a while.
TheTale: Dog: Sniff sniff sniff. The bedroll smells like a human lived here for a long time. Sweat. And… a trace of blood, almost fresh…? Leads back towards the cavern.
Lucnephwyr: "(Can't make ears or tails of the numbers, though. Bounty or bust?)"
Shiba: "(Keep it, try to make sense of it later.)"
Lucnephwyr wryly smiles and slips the 'latest' notebook into his pack.
Shiba: "(And those cymbals - possibly fiends?)"
Shiba: "(I have no idea how they fit into the reincarnation cycles at all.)"
Dog: "(This was definitely a human's camp! And… it smells like blood, going that way!)" Dog points towards the cavern like a hunting dog, except Dog is a small and fluffy friend.
Lucnephwyr suppresses an excited squeal!
Lucnephwyr: "(Let's follow it!)"
Shiba: "(Is your pack waterproof, friend?)"
Lucnephwyr: "(May…be?)"
Shiba shrugs.
Shiba: "(Anyway.)" She slithers off in the direction Dog pointed at.
Lucnephwyr also shrugs and heads off.
Dog: "(Let's go!)" Dog tailwags and puts Dog's nose down to the ground, following that scent!
TheTale: Sniff sniff sniff. Back into the cavern. Across thin ledge and stone bridge down to a ramp down towards the heart of the cavern. And just as Dog is about to descend onto one little rocky bluff before reaching the cavern floor -
TheTale: A tiny little section of rock peels up and gets stuck to Dog's paw.
TheTale: …Papier-mache?
Dog: "…Rroo?" Dog shakes their paw a bit.
TheTale: The ground where Dog stepped was fresher, oozing, wet. There's faint impressions of… sheet music, layered and indecipherable, on the stone.
Dog: "(More sheet music..?)"
Lucnephwyr: "(Is this a trap or a repair job??)"
TheTale: The faint light at the bottom: A chrysalis-thing, of paste and sheet music, razor-taut strings running into it, anchoring it into the stone.
TheTale: …That's where the scent of blood leads.
TheTale: What is this thing?
Dog: "(The trail ends here…)"
Dog: "(This is really scary.)" Dog whines and looks up at Luc, then Shiba. "(Are you sure you want to keep going?)"
Lucnephwyr nods, determined.
Lucnephwyr: "(We promised the knights we'd solve this conundrum!)"
Shiba: "(Who else will?)"
Lucnephwyr pokes at the strings at their bases in the ground, like he did with the barrier before.
TheTale: Twang. The string snaps back into the chrysalis. And so does another. And another.
Dog: "(If you're sure…)" Dog watches as the strings snap back.
Lucnephwyr then gives the chrysalis-thing a double overhand THWACK with his staff!
TheTale: It shudders.
TheTale: It splits.
TheTale: There's a wet, oozing noise, and something bursts out from within, with a mournful, blaring noise, dripping and wet.
TheTale: …It's… it's a little like Nerswul.
Dog‘ barks at it, alarmed!
Dog: "Nerswul! Nerswul, that you?"
TheTale: It has his muzzled face, his furred chest, his horns. But his arm seems to have been entirely replaced by the body of a human - reclining on her shoulder, her hands wrapped tightly around his neck.
Lucnephwyr is just 8|
TheTale: …Ah, but if you look closer, there’s his hand, around hers.
Shiba readies her staff, sending it floating defensively in front of her.
TheTale: His legs are wooden, polished, with little S shapes carved into them. He stumbles forward, staggering forward, making only that strange, reverbating, blaring noise -
TheTale: With his still-extant arm, he draws up a sword of gleaming wood, of razor-sharp fibre. Something shimmers in the air behind his back.
Dog: "Nerswul? Nerswul?" Dog's ears pin against their head, their tail tucking between their legs.
TheTale: Two little cymbals tumble out of the chrysalis. Tsh tsh.
Shiba: "Maybe once before. Someone's carved them into an instrument for their own use, I suspect."
TheTale: "Th… a… …"
Dog: "But that's not right- we've /always/ gotten another chance! Nerswul can't be stuck like this! No way!"
TheTale: It shakes. Its eyes blink, looking for something, but the… noise isn't coming from his throat, or from… the other throat.
Lucnephwyr: "Uh-! Oh! Um-" He flails about, finally starting to recover.
TheTale: (I mean, they're compressed pretty tight.)
Shiba: "His soul may still be in there, but the body - "
TheTale: "…Ugh…"
Dog: "Then we've gotta get his soul out of there!"
Lucnephwyr: "We have to save his soul, at… at least!"
TheTale: "…I'm going to lose this one, aren't I?"
TheTale: "…What a pain."
Dog‘ barks! "Who are you!"
Shiba: "Oh. Finally found your voice?"
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 D64 B [F]:1 Nerswul [B]:5 D64 A [F]:30 Shiba [F]:34 Lucnephwyr [F]:58
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==========]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
[OOC] Shiba: The hell
TheTale: Two little cymbals. And Nerswul, behind them.
[OOC] TheTale: Oh oops I obviously
[OOC] TheTale: did not round 0
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 Shiba [F]:5 D64 A [F]:5 Lucnephwyr [F]:7 Nerswul [B]:7 D64 B [F]:8
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==========]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
TheTale: Dog!
Dog: "What have you done?" Dog demands, growling. [CT 15!]
Dog: (Dog doesn’t sound very carefree or friendly right now…)
TheTale: Battle order: Shiba [F]:0 D64 A [F]:0 Lucnephwyr [F]:2 Nerswul [B]:2 D64 B [F]:3 Dog [B]:10
TheTale: Shiba!
Lucnephwyr: "Nerswul! What happened??"
TheTale: "They couldn't be together…"
TheTale: "…They couldn't be apart."
TheTale: "Ahahahahaha." Nerswul buckles over with the laughter running through its body.
Dog: "So you just forced them together?!"
Shiba focuses, and the end of her staff begins crackling with lightning, forking entirely in right angles. [Heaven Stream, CT30]
TheTale: "Oh, you mean the…" Nerswul's arm points, with that strand-sword, at each of its two throats.
TheTale: Voice suddenly flat: "Like this when I found them. I just… spruced it up a little."
TheTale: Battle order: D64 A [F]:0 Lucnephwyr [F]:2 Nerswul [B]:2 D64 B [F]:3 Dog [B]:10 Shiba [F]:30
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==========]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
TheTale: The D64 begins casting [Elimination Field - CT20]! A triangle-shape appears, in blue light, underneath the trio!
TheTale: Battle order: Lucnephwyr [F]:0 Nerswul [B]:0 D64 B [F]:1 Dog [B]:8 D64 A [F]:18 Shiba [F]:28
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==========]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
TheTale: Lucnephwyr!
Lucnephwyr isn't quite sure how to process this, until his initiative is up, in which he then goes- "…oh."
Dog: "Who are you?" Dog demands, again.
TheTale: The voice from Nerswul's body: "I'm D2."
Lucnephwyr produces his grimoire from his bag and levitates it with one hand! He flicks his wrists and the book's pages cut across D64 A! [Letter Opener, 40D]
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d100 and got 95 ( Total: 95 ) for 80
Lucnephwyr pushes that into a hit because this a'int gonna fly. [-2 luck]
TheTale: It rings like a…
TheTale: …Well, you pretty much know what noise it makes. It's a hit!
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d8+81,120 and got 3 ( Total: 100.8 ) for Glorify
Shiba: "Mm. The door wasn't lying about a super endboss type."
[OOC] TheTale: 100]! A clear sound rings out - all according to plan. [Damage Charge…!
Lucnephwyr: "What's… a D2?"
Shiba: "Can't say, but I know someone who can. After this, we should set up a meeting."
TheTale: Nerswul draws his sword across his back, playing an eerie chord. [The Hook in CT15]
Dog: "So that's you?"
TheTale: "…As much as you're anything at all."
Dog: "I know what I am."
Lucnephwyr gains more footing. "…that didn't answer my question!!"
TheTale: D64 crouches low to the ground and starts rattling. [Second Crush is ready!]
Shiba: "'There is no cow, it's in my mind,' right?"
TheTale: "Don't make me sick."
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 Nerswul [B]:7 D64 A [F]:10 Shiba [F]:20 D64 B [F]:23 Lucnephwyr [F]:32
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==========] Charge I(1)
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
TheTale: Dog!
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [======== ] Charge I(1), actually.
Dog‘ howls, and a disc of light slams into D64 A! [Flying Edge, 35D]
Dog` rolled 1d100 and got 42 ( Total: 42 )
Lucnephwyr winces.
TheTale: Slice! It doesn’t seem to have noticed, despite the glowing scar left on it. It's a hi!
TheTale: It's a hit.
Dog‘ rolled d12+144 and got 1 ( Total: 145.0 )
Dog: "I’m just a dog, so I figured it for a dream or a fancy, but if you're really going to do things like this…"
[OOC] TheTale: 145]!
Dog: "Please reconsider."
Dog: "Nerswul had a future. Hopes and dreams."
Dog: "And now we find he can't even move into another body because he's like this?"
Dog: "He doesn't deserve that!"
Shiba slams the bottom tip of her staff, sending a shockwave underneath the ground towards D64 A, following up. Six jagged rocks spear up from the ground, piercing it. [S.A. - Golden Pyres]
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: no, wait, please
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: stop
Shiba waits!!
TheTale: " 'I'll save you'…"
TheTale: " 'We'll find a way together'…"
TheTale: "That's the kind of hopes and dreams he had."
Lucnephwyr doesn't know what's going on between Dog and 'Nerswul,' and he clings to something he can try to recognize. "I…if you attack the cymbals while they're charging, they'll get powered up!"
TheTale: "And how did that end…?"
Lucnephwyr: "I-I think, that's what I'm seeing!"
Shiba: "Ah. Good catch."
TheTale: That's totally what's going on! The glowing triangle got a little brighter, too.
TheTale: Nerswul finishes playing something, and razor strands shoot out from the earth around Shiba!
Dog: "I know we have problems, but it might have been possible, one day!"
TheTale rolled 1d10+135 and got 8 ( Total: 143.0 )
[OOC] Shiba: Does magic have an implicit roll with CoS 100?
[OOC] TheTale: I can choose not to!
[OOC] Shiba: Right but what about in the case of luck and/or other CoS-modifying Quicks?
[OOC] TheTale: Luck can't modify a roll that isn't made, other CoS modifying quicks can force one - so say, you could Repel it to drop it to <100 and make me roll.
TheTale: Slicing into her for 143 magical Gnome damage! A song's caught in your head (6).
[OOC] Shiba: So I'd have to expend Repel to make you roll as opposed to having the information to use it without wasting it post-facto?
[OOC] TheTale: I guess so! But that's the price of having the option not to roll when CoSes are 100.
[OOC] Shiba: fair 'nuff
TheTale: "Ugggh… I just hate it when people heal and heal and heal, you know…?" Nerswul's body gripes a little bit.
Shiba flinches a little. [113, post-ARM.]
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 487/600, MP: 600/600, LP: 6/6, SoS: 150 - Some Kinda Song (6)
TheTale: D64-B gets excited and leaps into Shiba, too! For 90 physical damage.
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 427/600, MP: 600/600, LP: 6/6, SoS: 150 - Some Kinda Song (6)
TheTale: The triangle symbol ignites, burning upwards into a pillar of light!
TheTale rolled 1d10*1.4+140*1.4 and got 6 ( Total: 204.4 ) for charged up!
TheTale: Striking Dog, Shiba and Luc for 204 magical Wisp damage!
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 253/600, MP: 600/600, LP: 6/6, SoS: 150 - Some Kinda Song (6)
TheTale: Cymbal B gets excited and headbutts Luc for another 90 physical damage!
TheTale: Battle order: Shiba [F]:0 D64 B [F]:3 Lucnephwyr [F]:12 Dog [B]:15 Nerswul [B]:22 D64 A [F]:25
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [==== ]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [==========]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [==========]
TheTale: Shiba!
Shiba finishes charging her spell, unleashing an array of beams that split and fork and right angles, forming a structured gridlike tree whose branches pierce the opposition. [Heaven Stream, 35D]
TheTale: Hits the field!
Shiba rolled d12*1.2+150*1.2 and got 11 ( Total: 193.2 ) for -2 Luck for +20% damage
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 253/600, MP: 510/600, LP: 4/6, SoS: 150 - Some Kinda Song (5)
TheTale: Blazes the field for 193 magical bright damage! D64 falls inert!
Lucnephwyr whirls forward and smashes D64 B with a spiral book attack! [S.A. - Bookend]
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d100 and got 82 ( Total: 82 ) for 80
It's going to be like that, is it. [-1 Luck]
TheTale: It's a hit!
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d8+90 and got 3 ( Total: 93 )
[OOC] TheTale: 93]! Cracks develop on it!
TheTale: Nerswul spits up a little bit of milky water and crumpled paper, and turns - without looking at her with any of its four eyes - over at Shiba. She's the mark!
TheTale: The other cymbal starts summoning up another little shining triangle! [Elimination Field in CT20!]
Shiba: Also! [Light of Day: Whenever you cast a light spell, increase the healing granted by the next recovery ability your party uses by +20%.]
TheTale: Battle order: Lucnephwyr [F]:0 Dog [B]:3 Nerswul [B]:10 D64 B [F]:11 Shiba [F]:23 Cymbal Crash [50]:28
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [=== ]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [======== ]
TheTale: Luc!
Lucnephwyr regains focus! "Hm! I can handle this!" His eyes glint with a compassionate sparkle. [Quick: Potency] He whips open his grimoire, which is -already casting the spell he wanted!- "Let's keep our heads in the game! Vaccine!" He swirls his staff about and the Song fades from Shiba's head! [CT10->0 [Letter Opener]] [Vaccine, 35D]
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d12+180,160 and got 3 ( Total: 292.8 ) for and bonus healing for Shiba!
[OOC] TheTale: +292 HP]! Nerswul groans irritatedly as The Hook dissipates - and Shiba's rendered briefly immune to it! (Call a duration on that, please!)
Also, you're immune to the next application of Some Kinda Song! (U)
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 Nerswul [B]:7 D64 B [F]:8 Shiba [F]:20 Cymbal Crash [50]:25 Lucnephwyr [F]:32
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [=== ]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [======== ]
TheTale: Dog!
Dog‘ growls! [CT20!]
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 545/600, MP: 510/600, LP: 4/6, SoS: 150 - Some Kinda Song (5),Im. to next song in playlist (U)
TheTale: Nerswul’s body starts playing across its back again. [The Hook in CT15!]
[OOC] Dog: 346/550 HP!
[OOC] TheTale: Oh, Vaccine cleanses the song, too. Don't worry about it. <3
[OOC] Shiba: yeah I read that after I posted
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 545/600, MP: 510/600, LP: 4/6, SoS: 150 - Immune to next Song (U)
TheTale: The other D64 finishes casting [Elimination Field], and a pillar of light blazes the party for -
TheTale rolled 1d10+140 and got 3 ( Total: 143.0 )
TheTale: 143 magical Wisp damage!
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 432/600, MP: 510/600, LP: 4/6, SoS: 150 - Immune to next Song (U)
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 Shiba [F]:0 Nerswul [B]:2 Cymbal Crash [50]:5 Lucnephwyr [F]:12 D64 B [F]:23
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [=== ]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [======== ]
TheTale: Dog!
TheTale: Shiba!
Dog‘ howls, and light streams down and forks to hit D64 and Nerswul! [Corona Plume]
Dog` rolled 1d100 and got 28 ( Total: 28 ) for [35D]
TheTale: Fwoom, fwoom!
Dog` is a lucky dog, and nudges that roll down one to 18! [-1 Luck]
Dog` rolled 1d10+180 and got 3 ( Total: 183.0 )
TheTale: The other cymbal’s taken out! [183]!
Shiba slams the bottom tip of her staff on the ground, sending a shockwave underneath the ground towards Nerswul, following up. Six jagged rocks spear up from the ground, piercing it. [S.A. - Golden Pyres]
Shiba rolled d12+180 and got 7 ( Total: 187.0 ) for spending 60 for the boost!
[OOC] TheTale: 187]! Nerswul spits half a curse!
Lucnephwyr: "G-good!"
TheTale: Shiba!
Lucnephwyr: "Great!"
TheTale: Battle order: Shiba [F]:0 Nerswul [B]:2 Cymbal Crash [50]:5 Lucnephwyr [F]:12 Dog [B]:35 Cymbal Crash[100]:50
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [===== ]
Shiba begins casting, as well, more forking trees of light forming from her staff-tip. [Burst, CT15]
[OOC] Dog: HP: 203/550, MP: 592/600, LP: 9/10, SoS: 137
TheTale: More strands slice through Shiba!
TheTale rolled 1d10+135 and got 6 ( Total: 141.0 )
TheTale: For 141 magical Gnome damage. But… no song gets stuck in her head.
[OOC] Shiba: HP: 321/600, MP: 450/600, LP: 4/6, SoS: 150
TheTale: One of the cymbals explodes, inflicting 50 magical damage to everyone! Nerswul stumbles a little - [50]!
Lucnephwyr: "Oh- we should finish this quickly, then!"
TheTale: Battle order: Lucnephwyr [F]:0 Shiba [F]:3 Dog [B]:23 Nerswul [B]:25 Cymbal Crash[100]:38
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [===== ]
TheTale: Luc!
Shiba: "If you haven't noticed, D2, this time around, I'm a little more … direct."
Lucnephwyr: "Keep it up, you two! I'll help us brace!" He begins to chant, swirls of healing starting to form around Dog and himself. [Double Cure, CT20]
TheTale: Shiba!
Dog: "Thanks," says the Dog.
Shiba pierces Nerswul with another outstretched angular-tree-of-light. [Burst, 35D]
Shiba rolled d10+180 and got 8 ( Total: 188.0 )
[OOC] Shiba: and I think Dog still has an SA to spend? unless I missed an earlier use
[OOC] TheTale: 188]!
Dog‘ barks! [SA!]
Dog` rolled 1d12+180 and got 9 ( Total: 189.0 ) for spendin’ MP
[OOC] Shiba: Also, Full of Light +20% healing bonus for Luc.
TheTale: Nerswul's rattled for [189]!
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: I love you so much
Dog‘ bark bark barks! It’s so annoying!
TheTale: Lucnephwyr, now!
TheTale: Battle order: Lucnephwyr [F]:0 Dog [B]:3 Nerswul [B]:5 Shiba [F]:18 Cymbal Crash[100]:18
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [=== ]
TheTale: "…This time around…?" Nerswul's body clutches its head.
Lucnephwyr finishes his cast and jumps at the same time!! Dog and Luc are twinhealed! [Double Cure, 35D]
Lucnephwyr rolled 1d10+150,120 and got 6 ( Total: 187.2 )
TheTale: "Don't act so proud of it, you're gonna make me hurl…"
Dog: "Second chances are precious!" Dog insists. They're revitalised!
TheTale: Healing to Dog and Luc! [+187!]
Lucnephwyr: "I've worked hard for these skills!"
[OOC] Dog: HP: 340/550, MP: 592/600, LP: 9/10, SoS: 137
TheTale: Dog!
TheTale: Battle order: Dog [B]:0 Nerswul [B]:2 Shiba [F]:15 Cymbal Crash[100]:15 Lucnephwyr [F]:32
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [=== ]
Dog‘ howls, and immediately, a discus of light appears! [Corona Plume into Flying Edge mitigates my CT~]
TheTale: Slice!
Dog` rolled 1d100 and got 70 ( Total: 70 )
[OOC] Dog: Which should /just/ hit, if not I’ll spend some luck on it
TheTale: A just-on hit!
[OOC] TheTale: It does just hit!
Dog‘ rolled 1d12+144 and got 2 ( Total: 146.0 ) for 35D!
TheTale: Nerswul dashes towards Dog, slashing with a humming blade!
TheTale rolled 1d100 and got 55 ( Total: 55 ) for C80
TheTale rolled d8*0.8+81*0.8 and got 1 ( Total: 65.6 )
TheTale: Inflicting only 65 physical damage!
Dog` yelps anyway! They’re only a very small dog.
TheTale: Nersul shakes and shudders. There's an ominous feeling… [Killer Intent: Dealing +100% next turn!]
Shiba jumps in! [G.A.]
TheTale: There's a red flash in Nerswul's eyes!
TheTale: Slashing for 106 physical damage to Shiba! [Punishing G.A.]
TheTale: Battle order: Shiba [F]:0 Cymbal Crash[100]:0 Lucnephwyr [F]:17 Dog [B]:20 Nerswul [B]:27
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [== ]
TheTale: Shiba!
Dog: "Thanks…" says Dog, with a hint of fear in their voice. (They're not a fighter, after all. They're a dog.)
Shiba cocks their head at Nerswul, daring them to try it. Meanwhile, another [Burst, CT15].
TheTale: The other cymbal explodes, detonating for 100 magical damage to th field! Nerswul takes [100]!
TheTale: Battle order: Shiba [F]:0 Lucnephwyr [F]:2 Dog [B]:5 Nerswul [B]:12
TheTale: Status for D64 A : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for D64 B : [-KO-]
TheTale: Status for Nerswul : [= ]
TheTale: Shiba!
TheTale: Now!
Shiba extends hopefully one last [Burst, 35D] branching towards Nerswul's form.
Shiba rolled d10+180 and got 1 ( Total: 181.0 )
TheTale: Beams of light lance through, incinerating artifice and fabrication!
[OOC] TheTale: 181]!
TheTale: "Piece of sh-"
TheTale: A light builds from within the body, brighter and brighter…
TheTale: A keening, cleansing noise…
TheTale: That explodes into stardust.
TheTale: Way to go!
[OOC] TheTale: Got 8 EXP
TheTale: When the light clears…
TheTale: …Two bodies, one of a monster, one of a human, holding hands.
TheTale: A pale fire rises up from Nerswul's body. His soul.
Shiba nods, speaking to what remains of the real, prior Nerswul, if it remains. "Migrate to the Mana Lands. There should be a collection of statues. Find one that suits you."
Dog‘ whines, ears back on their head.
Dog: "I’m sorry there wasn't a place for you both yet," they say.
Dog: "But one by one, I know the soldiers will find better lives."
Lucnephwyr blinks his eyes a few times, but he's not crying!!! (yet).
TheTale: A laughing shimmer in the blue flame.
TheTale: "…You need to get her home,"
TheTale: "Or they'll come for her."
Lucnephwyr: "We will!"
Shiba: "I was about to suggest as such."
Dog: "I'll take care of her. I've crossed the border before."
Lucnephwyr sucks his tongue back into his mouth. Didn't mean to be that loud.
TheTale: Satisfied… Nerswul migrates elsewhere.
TheTale: Papier mache rots away. Cymbals and other such toys are quietly swept up, behind the scenes.
TheTale: The natural, the normal, sinks back into the cavern.
TheTale: The human…
TheTale: …She was strangled.
Shiba: "My question is, 'what do we tell Ark Mien?'"
Lucnephwyr: "We tell them this-"
Lucnephwyr walks over to the chrysalis-husk, and wrenches half of it from the other half. Hefts it onto his back not unlike a shell.
Lucnephwyr: "…and, um…"
Lucnephwyr doesn't turn to look at the pair.
Lucnephwyr: "Do you two know… what that was?"
Shiba: "Some unfathomable terror from outside of this realm. At least, I suspect as much."
Dog: "I had a… dream, about someone called 'D2'. I don't really remember much about it. I didn't pay it much mind, because I'm just a dog, but…"
Dog: "I don't think they're a very nice person."
Shiba: "I had such a dream too."
Shiba: "I wonder if those dreams correspond with the gaps of time in the book we found."
Lucnephwyr: "Well…okay." He turns back around. Forces a little smile. Stay determined.
Lucnephwyr: "Actually we could probably use this husk as a gurney, couldn't we."
Shiba: "May I accompany you across the border, Dog?"
Shiba nods and stands behind Luc, ready to assist with the husk. "And we could, yes."
Dog‘ wags their tail. "That’s a good idea. And… I think some company would be a good idea. Because I'm just a dog, and a human is very large and heavy."
Dog: "But you should be sure, okay? It's dangerous out there."
Shiba: "Sure. Although I'm partly responsible for some of said danger."
Shiba gives a guilty smile.
Shiba: "We've got some friends on the other side, though."
Lucnephwyr: "…actually we'll need both halves, won't we." He sets about the other half of the husk.
Dog: "Friends?" Dog's ears perk up.
Shiba: "… Okay, 'friends*' with an asterisk. But if you've got questions to ask about D2, there's some humans that can answer better than I can."
Lucnephwyr loads the bodies onto the husk-halves.
Lucnephwyr: "So, uh."
Lucnephwyr: "Do we want to meet up later, then?"
Shiba: "Yeah. You know the Spark Kickers?"
Dog: "Uh huh?"
Lucnephwyr: "Uhh, sort of. Heard -of- it."
Lucnephwyr: "It seems like a really… cool place!"
Shiba: "Part of the same network of friends*. If you wanna meet up again, I'd suggest there."
Shiba: "Though, uh, are we splitting up for some reason?"
Lucnephwyr: "We don't -have- to, no."
Lucnephwyr: "Do you think it'd be wise to take the uh. Human, through Sycorax?"
Shiba: "Fair point."
Dog: "Someone will probably sniff it out."
TheTale: I mean, if you wanna see her get eaten.
Lucnephwyr: "I'd rather not take too long and have Ark Mien go 'oh well now those three non-knights are missing too.'"
Lucnephwyr: "So… we have to meet up with them, and get the human nowhere near the city."
Shiba nods at Dog. "Yeah, we'd better split. Maybe meet further out of the city, then?"
Dog: "I'll go back to Ark Mien and tell them… that he was just holding on by a thread, maybe, and we saw him go, so he'll be reincarnating soon."
Dog: "So there aren't any questions!"
Lucnephwyr: "And mention the human is dead. And I really -really- want to show them one of these."
Lucnephwyr: "So…" He prepares to drag the husk with Nerswul on it.
Lucnephwyr: "Be seeing you, Shiba! Be careful!"
Lucnephwyr: "…I say that now even though we've got quite the trek out."
Shiba: "I'll see you guys outside the city, then. It's not an unusual sight for me to carry around loads like this, so I don't think I'll get stopped." She picks up an edge of the other husk with the human and covers it with some cloth.
Dog: "I'll help!" Dog grabs a hold of the husk with their teeth and tries to back up a step. Fails. Looks up at Luc, wags tail a little. "Um… or maybe you should?"
Lucnephwyr smiles. "I've got it. Help lead the way though, I'm still a little battle-dizzy."
TheTale: For a sculpture, right?
Shiba: Yeah! For a sculpture.
Dog: Dog sniffs out the route! They'll lead Luc out of there safe and sound!
TheTale: Yup. Did you wanna explain things to Ark Mien tonight, or is that for another day?
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: tonight, shit, let's do this
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: I want my quest xp
[OOC] TheTale: [OK]!
Shiba probably parts ways here, unless it's feasible no one's gonna look at the other husk too closely. (It … probably isn't.)
TheTale: (…Probably best to steer clear.)
TheTale: To the Arkhouse.
TheTale: The Newt meets you - he's sitting out on the front steps.
Lucnephwyr step step drag. Step, step, drag.
TheTale: "So, there he is, is he. I'll have to call Ykare back."
Lucnephwyr: "Oh, did she get worried about us?"
Lucnephwyr giggles. "I feel loved!"
Dog: "We're okay!"
TheTale: "When you can joke like that," The Newt ashes out his pipe. "You know she's far away."
Lucnephwyr: "Who's joking?" He smiles, and finishes his tour at the Newt's feet.
TheTale: The Newt narrows his eyes, blinks with translucent eyelids. Looks at Nerswul.
Lucnephwyr nods to the husk. "That's… part of what got him."
TheTale: "Strangled? Bad way to…"
TheTale: And the Newt only now notices it.
TheTale: "What in blazes is that thing?"
Lucnephwyr: "I… don't know." He then realizes he has no actual answer for what killed Nerswul, and looks at Dog in a slight panic.
Dog: "Well! It's like this!"
TheTale: Newt reaches down, snaps off a piece of the chrysalis-husk.
Dog: "They were fighting, and their magic slammed into each other, and magic slammed into that magic, and it became a shell, because there was stuff in the aquaduct which coaless- coalesce- which mixed with it, and it made those things!"
Dog: (Dog doesn't lie very much.)
TheTale: He crumbles it in his hands.
TheTale: "…Papier-mache?"
Lucnephwyr: "…weird magic" !
Lucnephwyr: "I needed a surface and figured 'well maybe someone can examine it…'"
Lucnephwyr: "And it was part of the whole shebang, so…"
TheTale: "…Weird magic is right."
TheTale: "We'll give Nerswul a knight's burial. Looks like he's moved on well enough. Good for him."
TheTale: "The human. Are they dead?"
[OOC] Shiba: I ATE THEM*
[OOC] Shiba: *ostensibly
Lucnephwyr nods.
Dog: "They're dead," Dog says. "Nerswul defeated them so thoroughly that there was nothing left, but I could smell the blood."
Dog: "There was a bit of flesh behind, but…"
Dog: "Ummm…"
Lucnephwyr: "Nothing so much as to fill a gil sack."
Dog: Dog wags Dog's tail guiltily.
TheTale: "For the best."
TheTale: "They grill nicely… but."
Lucnephwyr: "I wouldn't know…"
Lucnephwyr fidgets.
Lucnephwyr: "Um, anyway!"
TheTale: "Hahaha. Well, you're not a man yet."
Lucnephwyr: "So, uh…"
TheTale: "We'll take the old lug off your hands."
Lucnephwyr: "Can… we come to the funeral?"
TheTale: "Hope he comes back soon."
TheTale: "…Oh, yeah. Of course. Guests of honor, practically."
Lucnephwyr nods. "Thank you!" Gives Newt a little hug, even if it is out of place.
Dog: "Thanks!" Dog wags Dog's tail more enthusiastically, now.
Lucnephwyr: "Be seeing you! Let's go, Dog!"
And he begins to head down a path, towards the future.
Dog` trots off alongside Lucnephwyr! A boy and his dog, off to adventure.

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