Tom D02s02

TheTale: Day Two - Dawn.
TheTale: A cool morning.
TheTale: Somewhere far off, the birds are startled.
TheTale: The Manalands.
Lucnephwyr rises from his bedroll with a full double-arm stretch and gaping maw yawn complete with curling tongue.
Shiba: "I was still talking."
Shiba: "Sort of rude for night to come and go midsentence there."
Lucnephwyr: "Good morning, Shiba!" He speaks with a smile and bright eyes!
Shiba: "Morning, little one who sees the world differently than I."
Shinzou is already awake, but wasn't saying or doing anything until the others woke up; he sits up and shakes the sleep out a little.
Shinzou: "That was… interesting."
Lucnephwyr: "Oh? Did you dream? (Shiba, do you have any milk?)" Luc stands and brushes down his clothes, starts packing things up.
Shinzou: "I certainly did." He stands, segues into doing stretches. He doesn't have much to pack.
Shiba: "Sorry, I don't. I've got some nuts, though."
Lucnephwyr: "Of anything in particular? Or was it a weird, floaty, changing dream?"
Shinzou: "Little of column A, little of column B."
Lucnephwyr: "Mind if I have some of these nuts before we leave?"
Shinzou: "You three were in the dream-" -well, wherever Dog is, Dog will probably turn up when Dog's needed- "-and others. I don't feel like I should talk about it." He's done packing.
Shiba: "Go right ahead. Feel free to have some of these nuts."
Shinzou pauses but very deliberately says nothing.
TheTale: Crunch, crunch.
Lucnephwyr gets a clawed handful of those nuts.
TheTale: Better get going!
Lucnephwyr picks up the curled, sleeping Dog, and places them in his bag.
Shiba picks up a few sackfuls of food and carries them on her staff like a bindle.
TheTale: A footpath leads deeper into the Manalands, under the vigilant shadow of a guardian statue.
Shinzou follows behind Shiba. He's in someone else's house, so to speak; no sense not being a good and careful guest.
TheTale: In the early morning, the fleeting light of the underbrush is brighter than that which comes faintly through the thick canopy. The path twists and turns, though whenever it falls too deep into lily-pad choked marshland, there seems to be some ancient stone footbridge to lead across it to better firmament.
Shiba: Also, she drags the carapace with the human carcass with her other hand.
Shinzou definitely… takes the time to admire the scenery, as they go through. They're not in THAT much of a hurry.
Lucnephwyr breathes deep of the Manalands air, so much cleaner, quieter, older than the city's. As they walk he lets his mind drift, wondering how things are holding up elsewhere in the Manalands. Of what they're going to really find past them, and what if it's within travelling distance of his house? He might have to make a trip or two if it's close enough, even if it's dangerous!
TheTale: A shadow above the treeline… its tremendous trunk reaching up into the morning sky.
TheTale: The road is approaching the Mana Tree.
Shiba glances around. They're headed to the human lands, aren't they? Should be another road around…
TheTale: Don't want to get that close…?
TheTale: I mean, if you're going straight through… you pass it.
Shiba: Well … may as well check up on it, make sure no one's up to anything funny.
Lucnephwyr softly hums a song of a tree that could provide you with everything.
TheTale: There's a courtyard, before it - before the trunk seemingly wrapped in its own roots, that splay overhead and underfoot, the very center of the world.
TheTale: Like an ampitheatre, perhaps, or a courtroom - watched over by four statues.
TheTale: Two figures wrapped together in the center - tangled, fighting. To the right, the judge smolders eternally. To the left, the saint's eyes are shut in useless, beatific salvation.
TheTale: Pretty like a picturebook, I guess.
Shiba looks over the statues again, admiring the handiwork of whoever made them.
Shinzou watches, staring a little. Maybe he's never actually seen it, before..?
TheTale: There's a sort of… steps, circling up one side of the tree, before disappearing into the trunk. Once, long ago, many sought to try to scale the tree, to attain what could be found at its upper limits.
TheTale: These days? Not so much.
TheTale: As for the two combatants in the center…?
Lucnephwyr hasn't made the journey… yet.
TheTale: Well, the workmanship on them is good, I guess.
Shiba: "I have to wonder, sometimes. Have I prevented its misuse? Or just its use?"
Lucnephwyr: "Do you think the latter can simply happen?"
TheTale: A squirrel watches Shinzou from one of the low branches, before dashing off.
Shiba: "I think so. I believe it's possible for someone to come and pass its trials. But by that point, if you can pass the trials, you don't … really need anything up there."
Shinzou glances up at the squirrel with an ineluctable shiver of paranoia. This place is too holy. "…I think you've done the right thing."
Lucnephwyr: "We should probably keep moving."
Shiba: "Maybe once this war ends, I'll relax about it."
Shiba: "… Yeah."
[OOC] TheTale: Prologue ~ 'Bound by the Spine' - Complete
Shinzou seems quite willing to move along.
Lucnephwyr walks along reverently.
TheTale: Wait, hold up -
Lucnephwyr screetch.
TheTale: Around the bend, there's a human soldier. Carrying rifle, leg bandaged. There's a four-clawed shield fiend kneeling at his side, as he rest against a willowy tree.
Lucnephwyr: "!"
TheTale: …Not uniformed, though. An irregular? Doesn't look like a knight.
Lucnephwyr: "Now -that's- a human," he says, confident and proud.
Shiba: "Are you sure? It looks like a rock."
Shiba: "I mean a tree."
Shinzou: "Think we can all just… not see each other?"
Lucnephwyr: "I think I know humans when I see 'em now." And he gives Shinzou a knowing look.
Shinzou looks innocently at Lucnephwyr.
Lucnephwyr: "Well, I mean… you know…"
Lucnephwyr: "…he's hurt."
Lucnephwyr: "Isn't there… some… (thing)…" He knows where this sentence is going but isn't really sure why he isn't finishing it.
Shiba peers at the soldier, despite her comment. Wounded. Won't make it much farther if he's after the tree. She calls out as they get closer: "Which way are you headed?"
TheTale: "Through." His eyes are half-lidded.
Shinzou: "My first instinct -was- to offer medical assistance, but-" -well, he'd seemed to have bandaged himself up, but here goes nothing; he follows behind Shiba.
Shiba: "To the top of the tree, or to Sycorax?"
Lucnephwyr cautiously ambles between Shiba and Shinzou, studying the man and fiend as they draw closer.
TheTale: "To Sycorax. The top of the tree…"
TheTale: "…That's just a fairytale, isn't it?"
TheTale: "If the world's gonna change, it's gonna happen down here."
TheTale: The fiend is hound-like, covered in metal plates. Its belly and its eyes burn with a strange, inner fire, but it seems content to wait until ordered.
Shinzou: "Look around. Fairytales are true." He steps in. "I'm a doctor. Mind if I take a look?"
Lucnephwyr smiles a little. "(So, some tales are told on either side of the Manalands…)"
Shiba: "Is that the general sentiment of people? Maybe I've been too successful of a guardian."
Shiba: "I don't mean to stymie efforts, but there must be someone worthy of reaching the top."
TheTale: He puts the safety back on his rifle, extends his leg. Crosses his arms like a man given up.
Shinzou steps in, grabbing his medical supplies out of his pack and kneeling on the ground next to him. How bad is it, and how can he help? [Medicine]
Lucnephwyr hovers about, now focused on watching Shinzou work.
TheTale: The wound's badly infected. You can clean it out, but it's probably hit the bloodstream, which means there's a bad fever coming.
TheTale: Looks like he's been walking on it for a day or more.
TheTale: You might be able to save him if you got him to a bed, got something to look after him.
TheTale: …But, I mean, even then.
Shinzou peers at the wound, face showing no emotion. This'll take his skill, -and- some of the medicine he keeps in the bag… he glances up at the soldier, human eyes amongst monster feathers. "You're going to be just fine." [Luck: Medicine] "Luc, help me for a moment?"
Lucnephwyr: "Oh, yes!"
Lucnephwyr shuffles closer, with open claws and an ear for instruction.
TheTale: "Heh. Do you know what they said…?"
Lucnephwyr: "That Pure Hearts can go to a whole new world?"
TheTale: He squints. "What kind of nonsense is that? Nah…"
Lucnephwyr is slightly relieved to hear that.
Lucnephwyr 's stress lowers, a little.
TheTale: "This whole stupid war, the insult it comes down to…"
Shiba stands back and lets Shinzou work. Hopefully give off the impression she won't do anything, regardless of how he answers. "What manner of change do you seek?"
TheTale: "…If we just handed the prince on a platter over to the monsters, it'd be solved in seconds."
TheTale: He laughs, sputtering with something that a laugh shouldn't sputter with.
TheTale: "Just like every young idiot with a gun, I thought I could play hero."
Shinzou: "Hold his leg carefully." Somehow, it's like he's got everything he needs in his bag - up to and including a little piece of metal enchanted to heat up and cauterise wounds, and so on, and so forth- "-Shiba, keep talking to him-" -he focuses like a laser, cleaning and stitching the wound. And, yeah, the soldier will be just fine, although it hurts like a fucker briefly. (Thus the need
Shinzou: for Luc's help. Well, part of the need.)
Shinzou hands him a bottle of medicine with instructions written on the label in clear, fine handwriting. (Are we -sure- he's a doctor?)
Shiba: "Why's that, do you think?"
Shiba: "The prince somehow being key, I mean."
Lucnephwyr: "Yeah who says that kind of thing, about serving up princes."
TheTale: He sputters a curse at the burning pain.
TheTale: "I mean, he did something last time he escaped, didn't he…? Witchcraft, or something."
TheTale: "And that's why the monsters are all so damn ticked."
Lucnephwyr: "Took the Princess' heart and name, was it?"
Shiba: "To the king's daughter?"
TheTale: "…That'd do it, I guess."
Lucnephwyr: "Yeah, well…"
Lucnephwyr: "…I don't know if it'd end there, with the prince."
Lucnephwyr: "But it can't be an impossible problem to solve."
Shiba: "An eye for an eye for another eye, continual gouging until both parties have bled out."
TheTale: A dark little laugh.
TheTale: "Well, why else would they call him the Sacrifice Prince…?"
Shinzou raises an eyebrow.
TheTale: "Everyone says that the queen's been tryin to arrange accidents for him for ages."
Lucnephwyr: "The… human queen?"
Lucnephwyr 's face, even to someone who isn't used to monsters, clearly shows confusion. And then he remembers about his grip on the man's leg, and redoubles it.
TheTale: "Gh-! Yeah."
Lucnephwyr: "That's… huh."
TheTale: "I mean, family's family, but she hasn't even brought her husband back."
TheTale: "When everyone's dyin' in the streets, I mean, how far can unconditional love go, right…?"
Shinzou: "-he's fine now, Luc." He sits back on his heels, considering.
Lucnephwyr: "-oh, sorry." He removes his grip.
Lucnephwyr: "Uhh it can go pretty far. I doubt Yhe Holmat would yield if the sky burned and the earth screamed for his soul."
Lucnephwyr: "…uh but regardless, the prince sounds pretty lucky?"
TheTale: "He's missing now." He pets his fiend.
TheTale: "I thought I'd try and be a hero."
Shiba: "And accomplish what?"
TheTale: "Peace, I guess."
Lucnephwyr: "What's -your- name?"
TheTale: "Hobes. You?"
Lucnephwyr: "Lucnephwyr." He puts a little claw on the man's shoulder.
TheTale: "Hm."
TheTale: He looks over at his fiend. "These things eat, but I guess they don't get hungry."
Lucnephwyr: "Rest up, go home. You are loved, or at least, you have something you love, to do something rash. Don't die out here, or further away, because it'll only carry regret." [Care]
TheTale: "Hmph. I get what you're saying."
Shinzou glances over at the fiend, while he's distracted by the adorable dragon. He looks like he's spacing out for a second, staring -into- and through the fiend. :By what principles art thou driven?: [Mystic - Fiends]
Shiba: "You need any food, yourself, friend?"
TheTale: "Nah. I've been hunting well."
Lucnephwyr: "Right!" He smiles a toothy, fanged smile and stands, dusting himself off slightly away from the man.
TheTale: Shinzou: That's one of the Institute's "Fiend Armors" , or as it is sometimes called, a Bildungshund. It's driven by a simple tragedy engine - it derives its energy from binding itself to a soldier, and then being The Dog That Dies In The Climax Of the Book, more or less.
TheTale: I mean, you know all those boy-and-his-dog novels? It's one of those dogs. Mass-produced.
Shinzou side-eyes at Luc; he's lucky he was born a monster, his dog is far superior. Still, he's not going to get any recondite wisdom from something with a serial number. Tch. "Stay safe. Rest for the night, take your medicine, and go home."
Shinzou: "But… remember this." He gestures- at himself, his companions, the strange beauty of the mana lands.
Lucnephwyr stands aside, giving them all some room.
Lucnephwyr nods once to Shiba, Shinzou, that kind of Final Fantasy-esque pantomime.
Lucnephwyr: "Be well! Be seeing you, or not!"
TheTale: "Seeing you."
TheTale: He clutches the little bottle of medicine left with him.
Shiba: "Maybe don't try to imitate stories of heroes you've heard. There's all sorts of niches."
TheTale: …Better get moving.
Lucnephwyr continues along the path.
Lucnephwyr: "That was amazing, Shinzou!"
Shinzou: "…he'd better rest and take his medicine." Sternface! …broken by a smile at Luc's earnestness. "It's what I do, Luc." And he probably lands that hard enough for Luc at least to believe him!
Lucnephwyr believes him!
And, you know, somewhere down the road Luc's pack starts wriggling.
Lucnephwyr: "Oh!" He opens the pack!
Shiba: "You healed his leg. Was that mercy enough to heal his desires?"
Shinzou: "There's no such thing as 'enough' mercy. Just… mercy, simple as the wind."
Shinzou: "…good morning!"
Dog‘ jumps out! They leave a little puddle of dog residue as they land.
Dog: "Hi!"
Shiba: "Hmm. I did not mean the quantity."
Lucnephwyr: "Good morning!"
Dog: "Sorry I slept in. I was doggone tired!" Dog wags their tail.
Dog: "What did I miss?"
Lucnephwyr: "Met a human and Shinzou healed ’em!"
Shinzou snorts helplessly and then outright laughs.
Shiba: "Their body. It remains to be seen if he helped heal their heart."
Shiba: "Also, good morning."
Shinzou: "One can only try."
Dog: "Well… hearts are really complicated!"
Lucnephwyr: "(He didn't know that Pure Hearts could go to a whole new world.)"
Shinzou: "(Most people don't, I imagine.)"
Dog: "Pure Hearts…" Dog pauses, deliberates. "… are probably complicated too!"
TheTale: The pathway runs along tree-ridden marshland. A low fog lies over the water.
TheTale: There's gentle -plop-, -plop- into the water as the party approaches, unseen frogs diving into unseen water.
Dog‘ sniffs, sniffs…. point! "There are frogs in there!"
Shiba: "They shouldn’t cause any problems."
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Shinzou gives Shiba a sideways look.
Lucnephwyr doesn't go out of his way to bother the frogs, but he wishes them a good swim.
Shiba: "What? They're on break this time."
Shinzou: "You keep telling yourself that."
TheTale: Eventually, though, the marshlands open up…
TheTale: And become flecked with a thin sheet of ice.
TheTale: Overhead, the sky shimmers. A cold wind pierces into the forest.
TheTale: The Glozenfeld is ahead.
Shinzou shivers, and not even from the cold.
Shiba shrugs and dips her tail into the water, taking the time to relax a little bit.
Dog‘ sneezes from the chill!
Lucnephwyr closes up his school robes and snorts a little smoke,
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: .
Lucnephwyr: "Hopefully we don’t get stuck here for the night!"
Shinzou: "I know a few shortcuts, at liest."
Dog: "Don't worry, Luc, I'll sleep by your feets and keep them warm!"
Lucnephwyr ruffles Dog's fur a bit!
TheTale: Hardy grasses and little shrubs grow in the ice and snow ahead, poking out of it. But beyond that? Rolling, rolling hills of ice and snow, wind-swept, eternal, stretching on to the lights of Prospero far, far ahead.
Lucnephwyr leans on his staff more as the snow slows his steps.
Shinzou does, at least, know some shortcuts. Places where you can travel underground for a time, places where the snow's not so deep. He definitely knows the terrain.
Dog‘ gradually graduates from making pawprints to just making a snow-drag as the banks rise up above their legs to their chest. So Shinzou’s shortcuts are much appreciated!
Shiba follows Shinzou, appreciative of his knowledge of some better routes. It'll make travel easier.
TheTale: Oh, we're using 'that' road, are we?
Shinzou: It's that or be caught in the snow all day. And we only have so many days.
TheTale: True. A brief sidewind to the marker left behind - that faint bit of fabric flickering in the wind, barely visible above the snowline.
TheTale: Normally you'd have to dig a little, but it's been recently used.
TheTale: A short tunnel down beneath the snowline. An iron door.
Lucnephwyr: "Cozy!"
Dog: "This is much better!"
TheTale: It's ajar, a little. It pulls open with a shear and a moan.
Shinzou pauses in front of the door for a moment; looks like he's having a very quiet conversation with it. Is that how doors work? He opens it, with a bit of difficulty…
TheTale: There's a short, cramped passage down through the tunnel, before it opens up to a larger main artery -
TheTale: Down a short ladder.
Lucnephwyr: "Almost feels like the waterways, like this."
TheTale: One way's blocked, choked out by the Manaland's roots. The other, along the steel-railed passageway, curves gently. A trickle of ice-water flows down, illuminated by glowing yellow sodium lights.
TheTale: From time to time, there's a hum of motion somewhere in the tunnel, as it pumps come alive, keeping the passage clear as the lake outside seeps in.
TheTale: I always thought, you know, that someday the water would overtake it…
TheTale: …But I guess it hasn't, not yet.
Shinzou frowns at the leak briefly before moving on. No sense spending any more time down here than they have to. At least the pumps are all working.
Lucnephwyr can't help but run a claw past the trickling water.
Dog‘ trots down the snowless - and therefore superior - path.
TheTale: The click of boots. Someone else is using the tunnel.
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Dog` sniff sniff sniffs at the ground. Did they pass by this way already?
Shiba tilts her head in thought, trying to recall. Is there some connection, some resemblance in architecture between here and the waterways? (( Is [Lore: History] applicable? don’t even think it's possible to spend luck on it ))
TheTale: It reminds you a bit more of the ruins of the Denmarche, in construction, than of the Waterways.
Lucnephwyr: "(Let's be careful! I don't think these humans would be injured!)"
TheTale: Sniff sniff. No, though… someone else has used the tunnel? Which means that whoever you hear is coming this way.
Dog: "(I think they're coming this way, because that smell hasn't come here yet! … though someone else has been through here already, too…)"
Shinzou: "(Tch.)" He stands in front.
Lucnephwyr readies his tome!
TheTale: She ducks her head under low-hanging wires as she approaches. She's carrying a strangely sophisticated gun, wearing a long black coat with a ruff of white fur at the throat, and a row of black-and-brown quills at the back of the collar - looking a litle like a sage grouse, honestly. A human, with pink hair.
TheTale: She stops as she sees the pack, squinting in the low light. She looks down at her feet:
Shiba slithers next to Shinzou, staff floating in front of her.
TheTale: "Ah, it seems we're about to crash." She taps one of the steel rails with her boot.
TheTale: "Did I miss a signal, or did you?"
Shinzou: "I'm afraid that one's our fault." He smiles gracefully.
Lucnephwyr: "……………………… we're not a train!"
Lucnephwyr winces internally. God that was bad.
Dog‘ tilts their head, wags their tail uncertainly.
[OOC] Shiba: ps did sleeping restore HP/MP/Luck if not supplies
[OOC] TheTale: Yeah, since I assume Shiba’s house is stocked for that kinda thing.
[OOC] Shiba: These faerie walnuts, man.
TheTale: The woman kneels down a little. "Oh, who's that?"
TheTale: "That's a cute little one. Do I have a treat on me…?"
Shinzou resists the overwhelming temptation to pet Luc on the eye-ridge. It wouldn't really work with the image he's trying to get across here.
Dog‘ trots forward, tail wagging quicker. "Hi! I’m a Dog!"
TheTale: She pats her pockets hopefully, but the best she can come up with is a length of dried jerky. Se rips the plastic packet open and holds it at snout-level.
Dog‘ sniffle snuffles at it, and extracts the jerky downright delicately with their teeth before chowing down. Tailwagwagwagwag!
Shinzou smiles cautiously.
TheTale: "Someone that likes dogs can’t be bad, is that what you're thinking?" She holsters her gun at her waist. Stands back up, dusts herself off.
Dog: "Thanks!" Dog says, once the jerky's been devoured. "You're nice!"
Shiba: "Nah, I'm pretty familiar with Checkers."
Lucnephwyr keeps up his guard but softens his stare.
Lucnephwyr: "No, it's 'don't trust someone that a dog doesn't like.'"
Shinzou: "The difference -is- a little subtle to be fair."
TheTale: "I guess I've always heard it the other way. What brings you out here?"
TheTale: "I mean," She looks back over her shoulder.
TheTale: "It's out of the wind."
Lucnephwyr: "Well, y'know."
Dog: "It's really hard to walk through the snow when you're small!"
Lucnephwyr: "That's why. It's cold outside!"
Lucnephwyr: "Now -you- need a different reason."
Shiba: "Fulfilling someone's requests. Figure it'd be a bit easier to, uh, return someone to the living if their body isn't stuck in our borders."
Lucnephwyr: "We didn't kill this one."
Lucnephwyr: "Uh, I mean- we haven't killed -any- one!"
Shinzou: "Monastery business," and hopefully that'll convey all the information necessary. Who KNOWS what the monks get up to.
TheTale: "Sending home, huh?" She chews on that for a moment.
TheTale: "Am I going to have to sign for it?"
Dog: "Do… do humans need to sign for being revived?" Dog is confused.
Lucnephwyr looks at Shiba.
Shiba: "Do I really need to answer that?"
Shiba: "No. It's a joke about delivery, but given this audience … with poor delivery."
Lucnephwyr: "No, but…"
Shinzou snickers.
Lucnephwyr turns back to the woman. "It's a quest! Sorry, but the delivery point isn't here."
TheTale: "End to end guarantee, is it?"
Dog: "It's the right thing to do!"
Shinzou: "…anyways, I think when they designed these tunnels, they built in cross-overs, just in case two trains were, accidentally, headed towards each other..?" He smiles.
Lucnephwyr: "That's how a knight works!"
Shiba: "At least like."
Shiba: "Out of Sycorax borders."
Shiba shrugs.
Shiba: "Less chance of it getting eaten."
TheTale: "These are Prospero lands now, aren't they?"
Shiba: "I said 'at least.'"
Shiba: "Though apparently Luc wants to take it further, so, I guess."
TheTale: "I guess." She smiles.
Shinzou: "Are you…"
Shinzou: "New to the monastery? I was out of commission, for a while."
TheTale: A nod. "I suppose I am."
Shinzou: "It's just, you seemed so interested in the monastery's business, I had to consider it a possibility."
Lucnephwyr: "Okay so, we'll be going now!" And he continues down the tunnel.
Dog: "Goodbye, nice lady!" And the Dog trots after their boy.
Shiba: "Nice meeting you."
TheTale: She signals, backs up until she reaches a crossover, and then walks (backwards) onto another track, letting the party pass.
Shinzou ….shakes his head from side to side and shrugs.
TheTale: "It wouldn't do for us to collide, after all."
Lucnephwyr: "Right! Thank you!"
Shiba: "Just be careful and try not to be a hero."
Shiba: "Ran into someone on the way here who did."
Shiba: "This guy patched up their leg."
Lucnephwyr: "We didn't kill him!!"
Shiba: "You don't need to say that every time."
Lucnephwyr: "I'm pretty sure all humans think we kill and eat humans!"
Lucnephwyr: "I'm assauging their fears!"
TheTale: "Humans kill humans, too."
Lucnephwyr stops in his tracks. "Do they eat them?"
Dog‘ wags their tail. "We just want humans to know we’re nice monsters."
Shinzou shakes his head, sorry to dissappoint Lucnephwyr.
TheTale: "If they're good," The human says.
Lucnephwyr isn't sure how to reconsile this conflicting information between Shinzou and this lady, and he just starts walking again without fully processing the thought.
Shinzou is studiously and carefully keeping his expression blank.
Lucnephwyr literally, like a robot, keeps his head at that back-and-slightly-up angle, slightly confused, and the rest of him just starts walkin'.
TheTale: …And the two groups part.
Shinzou does a little 'well, that happened' shrug and sorta… keeps his ears out for anyone else.
Dog‘ keeps a nose out!
TheTale: It’s a long, boring, featureless hike through the Glozenfeld.
TheTale: Sometimes the icy water is ankle-deep, underfoot, the pumps straining their best to keep it gone.
TheTale: But, well, it's mostly the same tunnel, all this time, until you come to a service ladder exiting out into the Lost Quarter.
Shinzou mutters something disparaging about the maintenance under his breath.
Lucnephwyr takes care to dry his feet before utilizing the ladder.
Lucnephwyr: "Dog, need a hand?"
Dog: "Yes please!"
TheTale: And out…
Lucnephwyr opens his bag!
TheTale: …Into the ash and smoke.
Shiba pulls her hood up, hiding her face and features before ascending.
Dog` hops inside!
Lucnephwyr clambers… and then coughs once outside.
TheTale: Yeah, I know.

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