Duty Session 440: Reclaim the Peko Fort
Through the Hunter's guild the Peko Knights have put in a request for help. It appears that a small but key outpost of the Peko Knight's has fallen to Helena's undead forces. They are seeking a brave band of adventurers to help clear the problem, in exchange the Peko Knight is willing to loan out the outpost to the alliances, once it is clear.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: Reduced danger from Helena's undead forces.
In the northwest of Ninetails, a lone Peko scout awaits the party. The party was informed to meet the scout under the cover of darkness, when the mist is at its thickest, in a small grouping of trees just outside the sight line of the fort walls.
The scout is ecstatic to see the party and runs up to them, breaking cover. "Oh damn I am so glad to see you all. I thought I was going to get stood up and have to wait out here all night...alone." The scout looks around, obviously a little jumpy.
"It's okay!", Uta smiles, as she approaches. "I know how lonely it can get at times. But fear not, we are here to provide some company! I have brought... let's ses..." She flicks her inventory open. "...cards, draughts, chess, both Western style and Shoji, and, oh- You'll like this!" She selects an option, and a board with tiles shimmers into existence in her hands. "Mahjong! It's amazing. Did you know that many Adventurers, before the Apocalypse, would travel to the world of Alba just to play Mahjohng? It was apparently one of the best ways to do it..."
Uta has learned to put things in the language of the Landers. They won't understand concepts like 'log in' or 'most convenient online platform' but with a little fantasy coloring...
"Anyways, normally we would handle this ourselves but there is some weird summoning magic that is happening on the top of the tower that we... well we need to ask you to handle. It's really simple." The scout turns and points to the fort , visible by the tower, that appears to have some magical glow at the top. "Just get to the fort, over the wall, across the courtyard and you can get into the tower. Stop them from doing the magic up there and we can handle the rest." The scout smiles and nods. Yep, just that easy.
"Oh, I get it. It's a treasure hunt!", Uta beams. "Sure, I like a nighttime treasure hunt. Atmospheric."
"OH and since I have met up with you I am not sticking around. Just let the hunter guild know if you succeed." With that said the scout dashes away through the mist in shadow in the opposite direction.
Uta just squints, puzzled, board still in her hands. "...a treasure hunt crossed with hide and seek? It's certainly... different."
"Summoning," Haru says as he perks up to that, "Treasure Hunting?" He is standing now, guitar in hand, "NIGHT TIME?" He backpedals to be less creepy about all that since it sounds like he is about to summon a demon from the Abyss, "Treasure Hunting?!" He is in. All in. Didn't even count his chips. Full Maverick time.
But she has showed up for the mission. She had business in Ninetails, and while it's completed, she was here, and so when the mission came up, she accepted it. And here she is. "I thought these punks were exterminated, but I guess there's always a few holdouts."
The real problem starts with approaching the outpost, it is built in such a way that with enough people watching no one could simply sneak up on it. The skeleton guards are constantly patrolling the outpost and keeping watch, however in the territory of the undead an eerie fog has begun to grip the ground, so without a large force to rush the tower the adventurers will have to rely on using the environment to approach sneakily. Whether that is simply belly crawling through the fog, using weather-based magic or covering the approach in shadows and darkness to help their approach.
Now as to approaching the outpost, the order is sneaky, so she will sneak. Sneaking is part of her stock in trade, at this point in the game, though because she's distracted by the fallout from her other meeting, she's a bit distracted, and steps on a twig, which snaps. She stops dead, but ... maybe no one heard? Well, maybe no bad guys heard, and she will join Uta and Haru, who were like ghosts, looking wildly sheepish.
She likes the Obsidian Light.
Uta dusts off the board, and gives Goldenblade a thumb up, while the party proceeds.
"They -made- you play? That sounds like... homework. Not fun. I mean, I -did- have fun with homework. Literature, at least. The rest..." She wobbles her hand, with an expression of shame.
The adventuring party manages to make their way to the large wall of the outpost. This stone wall stands a good two stories tall. Which is great for seeing an enemy from far away, however it does cause blindspots. The adventuring party has managed to find one of those blind spots and will be able to rest a moment before taking the next step, which is indeed to get over the wall.
It is just a plain stone wall, and only roughly 9 meters up. It shouldn?t be that hard to simply scale the thing. Then again those without the physical strength to do such things (hi, Haru!) could always find a more magical solution to the problem. Noodle arms, it's your time to shine!
"A wall! Pshaw. If I can memorize chess moves I can outwit you, wall," he says in a loud whisper. They are trying to be stealthy, right? "This looks like a job for," he says. Wait for it. Jacket comes off. "Noodle Arms!" Yes. The strength of a thousand cluck cluck chicks. The flexiblity of a worm. He is ready. And... holy shazbot... he actually can climb really well with those things. All that gym time in Duties paid off. Noodle Arms. Your time is now.
Getting down off the wall is much easier, there are stairs and ladders and even a few ropes that easily would have allowed the Peko Knights to get down to the ground.Uta looks annoyed at this.She thinks for a few seconds, rubbing her chin and all, and nods as she comes to a conclusion. She takes a leap, spreads her arms and her wings, and feather falls towards the ground below.
She's got wings and she's gonna USE them, dangit!
Once the party has a chance to take a look around, one thing becomes obvious: the courtyard is booby trapped.
It appears the Peko Knights left a surprise for the undead. Whether it is the large amount of body parts of ghouls and skeletons, or simply that the ground looks like swiss cheese. One thing is certain, the courtyard has somehow been mined.
Or it might be quite simple. Goldenblade -is- blazing fast when she means to be, and is a ghost when she's concentrating, and it seems that she's concentrating on moving quickly and avoiding mines, because at no point is she actually /seen/ anywhere near the minefield. She starts off, and appears a bit later at the end, looking pleased with herself.
Mahjong board still under her arm, she swipes her other, free arm, vocalizing a powerful hymn at the same time, and as she does so, the ground cracks open, leaving a trench whose swooshing path is shaped by the movement of her hand. It's deep enough that some land mines stick out from its walls -- showing that the trench is much deeper. "There we go!", she exclaims, and jumps into the trench, walking through this corridor of safety towards-
Zip! Zip! Zip! It appears that the singing has attracked the attention of archers. Arrows plant themselves on right behind Uta, as she yelps and dashes for the tower in the center of the courtyard. Unfortunately there is only one door, in or out and it is locked. In fact that are several locks, one could surmise this is one well locked door in fact. The door itself is rather sturdily built, with heavy wood, strong hinges. The most interesting sign about all this, is the door is new. Whatever is going on behind this door is meant to be a secret, and it might stay so if people aren't quick to open it before they're turned into pincushions by the skeletal archers.
Upon the top of the tower, the walls have been removed and all that remains is the stairway entrance that the group has come from and the stone floor of the tower top. In the stone floor is an intricate and perverted summoning circle. Any summoner worth their salt would recognize that inlaid on the summoning circle is an extra layer to transform whatever is summoned. Into what it is hard to say.
Surrounding the magic circle are six vampire cultists , the one leading the summoning looks at the adventurers and laughs before saying, "You are too late, it has already begun. Now we need the blood sacrifices. The lot of you will do nicely." As if scripted, the moment he finishes talking the cultists rush the party intending to sacrifice them to summon the creature.
Uta stares at the cultists with the saddest look. "...so, no game of hide-and-seek treasure-hunting Mahjong?", she asks, raising the Mahjongg board a little in front of her, as if for showing it to the rushing cultists.
With still a couple arrows sticking out of her back.
Haru stands up, dusting off the pixelated soot from his jacket. "No ticket," he adds in, throwing in an old train bit. Choo choo.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the team, the cultist lays slain on the ground, slowly dissolving into pixels, obviously the party has saved the day. If that was the case though, why is there a magical charge still in the air? One may even notice that while the cultists are pixelating, their blood is filling in along the summoning circle. The cultists have become the sacrifice.
The crack of magic goes off showing that the summoning has occurred. The magical static in the air only goes up though as another and another , it appears whatever is attempting to be summoned is having problems. Finally a bolt of lightning strikes the center of the summoning circle and there in the center is an 'Alpha Wyvern'. The magical transformation goes to work as it begins to dissolve the flesh of the wyvern, the wings gain holes in them, the tail becomes nothing but bone. The creature screams in pain as the magic does it's work.
At the end of it all the creature's transformation is finished and it roars with anger and rage. It hungers, it is in pain, and it is going to take it out on all those about. "I will try to hold it still!", Uta exclaims. "We don't have to -beat- it," she yells, "just to outlast it." Menu navigation. Mahjongg board shimmers out, staff shimmers in. "Dodge whatever it throws at you, and if someone knows how to make the summoning expire sooner, please do so!"
Uta inhales, and begins to vocalize an aria which attunes with the Wyvern's movements, and harmonizes with its screeches. A beam shoots out from the staff, envelopes the creature. It is a battle of will, a battle whose goal is not to win, but survive; a desperate battle Uta, based on the painful intenity of her frown, is suffering through.
Those two arrows sticking out from those red glows int he back certainly don't help.
Round two! Haru gets back up there as this creature is flailing about. "Alright, this time with FEELING," as he starts his counter summoning. This time its a headbutt and Haru ends up holding onto this thing as it flails around. "Advanced summoning tactics," he flails around on this thing like he picked max difficulty on a rodeo. Noodle arms, engage!
Just as quick as the monster appeared, the summoning magic has run out and the party is safe. The magical circle is destroyed, the shards of the circle, crystalized, still flowing with dark magic. Even with the magic circle destroyed there is no telling when the undead may try to reinforce this position so it would be best to leave at the moment. On top of this the once thick top of the tower is now filled with holes and a precarious position to stand, it does however provide a nice view of another fort in the distance, the group has a rare moment to simply enjoy the view, and what a view it is. From here one can see for miles, and in those miles they see the main fort of the undead, Fort Grimwall.
Uta stands, panting, staff still clutched in both hands.
She collapses to the ground, sighs, and slams to just lie down on the floor-
Well, on the plus side, those two arrows that were sticking out from her back have now neatly popped out from the front (thankfully, from spots that keep everything decent), and are clattering to the ground.
On the minus side, pain.
Uta breathes a few times with her eyes popped out in shock, and when she finally manages to stand again (not before popping some healing potions, and possibly some help), she looks in the distance. The vista hits her for the first time, and after taking a few seconds to bask in its majesty, comments. "...it's gorgeous. How about we take some time to just... -enjoy- this?", and after turning to the rest of the party, she'll manage to crack a smile over her physical pain and ask, "...so, mahjongg?"