Duty Session 428: Investigating Payon Cave
This quest has been placed with the Hunters' Guild on behalf of the New World Alliance. This Obsidian quest begins in rural Ninetails, in areas under threat by the undead who have been plaguing the region. If they can be dealt with quickly, they will not become a complicating factor in the war with the Palace Lands.
Rec. Party: 2+
World Rewards: Multiple successful runs may reduce undead influence in Ninetails.
And the Hunter's guild said: Head to Ninetails! And that's the direction the group travelled. Taiyo was the one with the bright idea to head out and try to get some new loot for a few ideas she had, and luckily she picked up a few more adventurers along the way to help.
Upon arrival, the group would have already been travelling through a fairly dense forest that had some zombies and other minor undead creatures. At the mouth of the cave, though, it is really obvious it is going to get worse. LOOK AT THE BONES. "Alright, last chance to get your items and gear in order."
Once she's done with her stretches, Kotono grabs her knives and twirls them around a couple of times. "I'm ready when everyone else is!"
"Right," she says, producing a pair of warfans that will be rather familiar to anyone who's fought a certain Vixen. She gives them a twirl, smiling in satisfaction at the midnight-black glow that spreads along the blades. Then they snap shut and vanish back to wherever she drew them from.
"All set! So! Forwards and downwards and onwards, gee whiz!" The last has the feeling of a quote, but where from?
"Gears checked, buffs," Taiyo takes a moment to make sure what she has available to be cast is cast on everyone, "Cast.. lets head in," she finishes, holding one hand up to about her waist, palm up, to form a small ball of light before entering. NOt the cave though, the rest of the forest. "Heh... wrong cave," she muses after coming out. Seems something ELSE lived in there, wasn't home, but there was no deeper chamber to explore. After a quick check on the location given by the hunter's guild, the slightly embarrased healer heads around and down a nearby path.. only to find skeletons. Quite a few. "Okay. Enemies!" She -is- basically a healer. Time for the rest of the group to step up while she holds the back line and does what she can do from there.
On the other hand, it's got plenty of skeletons. He smirks, says, "Just trash mobs," and lights them up with a quick-cast "DAMNED!" There's a small magical explosion that sends skeletons flying into pieces, and he looks around. "Is that it?"
"Pick something, and we'll sing along
We can make music, all night long
We can even sing your favorite song
So pick something and we'll sing along."
Time passes, trees pass, clouds pass, and then...
"Oh, look, Ko-chan. Skeletons. Somebody wanted us to have a warm-up." She produces the paired war-fans again, and this time when she gives them a twirl, blasts of darkness slash out from each, cutting into the mob of skeletons and scattering bones everywhere.
"Skeletons? Got a few bones to pick, huh?" Kotono says as she conjures up her spell runes. "Let's shine a little light on the subject, shall we?" She asks as she brings up a light spell...
Only to have it look more like a blast of pixie dust from Tinkerbell. "Apparently, I didn't warm up enough," She says to Miyako with a sigh.
Between Schneider and Kotno's casting and Miyako's war fans, the Skeleton's are dealt with fairly quickly. Even Taiyo puts a blast of holy energy into one, causing it to fall to the ground with out so much as a wince. "Nice. Now lets find this cave and be done with these woods," she muses as she leads the group onward.
After another few minutes, the group arrives at the -correct- cave, "Alright, this is it, I'm certain of it." The orb of light returns to one of Taiyo's hands buuut, "Maybe someone good at melee should head in first?" It wouldn't be good if the one that plans to keep everyone standing went in first, yeah? Whoever goes in first would spot a rather large group of zombies that start lumbering toward them once they're noticed. At least they're 'slow' zombies.
Dropping down into a crouched position, Kotono proceeds to slowly move out of sight of those undead creatures, keeping to the shadows. She moves slowly but steadily, making sure there's no chance of her being caught.
She makes it through and she smiles.
"C'mon, Ko-chan, dance with me! And a ONE," she decapitates a zombie, "And a TWO!" she chops one's arms off, both together, "And a THREE!" She gives a twirl, slicing three zombies in half before stepping out past the monsters. "Waltzing With Zombies, ladies and gentlemen."
"Oh. That is a lot of zombies," seems Taiyo agrees with Schneider, quickly topping off the party-member's hp with a quick heal before turning to the shambling monsters more directly. She waits for Kotono to sneak by, and for Miyako to make her way through like some sort of ballet-assassin before tossing an orb of flame into the group of monsters. One catches fire and seeing as they're all bumping into each other, they'll all be on fire in a few moments. Which allows for the were-fang to slip by with little issue. "That works,".
Beyond the zombies, the enemies are sparse but the cave gets... complex. "... Huh. ... I .. have no idea where we're supposed to go now.. Anyone got any ideas?"
Well would you look at that. While Taiyo and Schneider are pretty clueless about figuring out where to go, both Miyako and Kotono seems to have their wits, and internal compass, still working. "Huh. Nice!" Taiyo compliments to Miyako for her map and Kotono for their ability to remember the last time they came, before the group is able to get going.
The next chamber is fairly large. A mined out portion of the cave where a lot of activity USED to go on, but now seems to serve as a home for someone or ... something. Before anyone can really look into it further something comes -leaping- into the room, ranting and raving, insisting on protecting something. ... Oddly enough that's the ONLY way it moves. "What the hell is that?!" Doesn't matter. It's attacking!
But it is not to be. The fast-zombie wants to protect its 'one true love'. Le Sigh. Le Gag. Le Barf.
"The PHHHAAAAAANNNNNTOOMMM of the Opera is theeeeerrrrrrrreee..... inside yourrr mind..." the Spriggan sings off-key, mocking the creature and baiting it towards her. Then she's just not there, sliding into the shadows and vanishing from sight, while the others engage it.
Oh wait. She was right there behind it, war-fans chopping down to sever its spine in three places. Welp. "Farewell, putrid prince!"
It's dangerous, and Kotono needs to take care of it. With a slash here and a slash there.
Here a slash.
There a slash.
Everywhere a... You get the idea.
Jumping Jack FLASH is what Taiyo would call the thing if she even had a chance to properly get a good look at it. It's first attack is deflected aside by Schneider's Dragonscale Cape, sending it careening to one side before it lunges again. Miyako though? Gone. Into the shadows, like a phantom, before emerging again to slice at the creature with the fans, catching it for a moment before it leaps for the ceiling, trying to come down on Kotono. Luckily, she seems to have an old, yet familiar, rhythm to her slashes which ultimatey takes care of the thing. No more jumping. Though Taiyo tries to kick it once in the head for good measure before the group gets a chance to have a nice long look at the room they came into. It's head hits the wall. "... Didn't expect that."
The next bit is a bit... well.. horrifying. A young girl moves out of the bed, hopping toward the party in awkward motions. She. Hungers. And if curiosity kept the party from attacking? The sudden appearence of sharp fangs coupled with her movements make her impossible to attack at range. Time to attack at distance!
Which is what Kotono does in this situation. She brings up her spell runes and conjures up a spell of light.
Fortunately, it seems to do the trick.
A blast of light comes from Kotono's hands at the strange girl. "How about a 'light' appetizer first?" She asks with a smile.
He casts, "Deep Doomsday. To the spirits of land and air, bound by the pact, fulfill your obligation now." The energy gathers, fell energy, and he unleashes it as close range. It's hard to target her, with jumping around like that, and it requres poinpoint accuracy, where most of Schneider's spells just need a zip code. But finally she jumps back from a target and as she turns to reorient, he casts "Megadeath!"
BLAM, the explosion roars at full size, though the AOE has been compressed to not incinerate the party. "Smokin'," says Schneider, pleased with himself.
Alne - Main Square
And then there is Cute Vampire Loli. Nope. Not touchin' that. Especially not since she's raving mad. Poor kid.
Miyako backs off quickly, peppering the poor kid with bolts of shadow from her war-fans, blackness flickering around the blades like flames as she moves. Unfortunately she's so shocked by the sudden appearance that her aim is less than great. Her blasts scatter like a shotgun, spattering the cave walls around the vampire and landing only a handful of hits. She'll have to hope the others did better....
When the strange young, undead girl lurches into action and starts to attack the party, Taiyo's first reaction is to create a field of holy energy, a Sanctuary as it were, which seems to burn at the monster as it bounds between the rest of the group. Kotono's blast of light only adds to the damage while Schneider burns the creature outright, rather than using a different type of energy. Miyako's attempt may go in a lot of directions, but at least it seems to be enough that the creature shudders, staggers, wails out in fury, then just drops dead. VICTORY. The Hunter's guild will pay nicely for this one.