Duty Session 445: Isle of the Terraformers
Strange dark creatures have been reported by various members of the Hunter's Guild. These creatures seem to be drawn to the power of the Elements. However, these are no friendly creatures. They have been seen actively trying to do harm to Divine Beasts or other natural sources of Elemental Energy. The Were Fang, Mikage Yurei, has discovered the location which seems to spawn these creatures into the world and brought that information to the Hunter's Guild. Now, the Guild seeks Adventurers willing to delve into unknown Gnomish ruins to reduce the threat of these 'Terraformers'.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: Reduce 'Terraformer' activity. Increase capabilities of the Divine Beasts of Yamato.
Setsuna had to get out of the tower, he was pacing so much that he also wore a hole in the fourth tower floor. Waiting for the ice queen to be birthed from the whale like some form of xenomorph had ust been gnawing at Setsuna and he couldn't take it any more. So he had grabbed the first random duty to pop up in Alne's hunter lodge, and had put out a call to anyone near by on his friends list with a sort of 'I am running this in a few hours, if you choose not to come will just sorta figure out how to solo it' message. You know one of those here is an idea of some fun to have and its gonna happen no matter who is on board or not.
It was good timing really. Fuka was getting rather heavily into some enchantment work. Not quite to the level of losing herself in a Strange Mood, but close. Close enough she was losing track of time. And food. And sleep. When she received the message she realized that, well, she hadn't done any training in quite some time... and you don't skip leg day! Or dungeon day, or whatever day it is!
Fortunately for the people gathered, Fuka isn't so hyperfocused that she foregoes bathing and basic grooming. She is, however, trying to chew a hunk of dried meat that's way too hard to chew, with the result that she's got it between her teeth like a bit, and lacking only a bridle to be mistaken for a pack animal! Well, pack fairy perhaps. She holds up a hand to wave in greeting, grinning and showing off her current snack.
Setsuna is watching his shadow move slowly as he then looks up at the others who have joined. "Well glad to see some people showed up because I have no idea what is in those tunnels. " Looking at the others make their commentss on what they faced before he nods his head, "So drlling machines and something to put six feet under. Got it, makes total sense." Turning his head toward the steam tunnels he looks back at the others before back at the tunnels, " I guess we are going in there."
Taking the lead into the steam tunnel, Setsuna soon regrets it as the steam and the close quarters are not something he was expected. This would have been much better to run in the winter when it was cold out, not the middle of summer. As they move forward however, deeper into the tunnels they would start running into more dangerous points of pressurized steam that could cut through anyone here better then any actual sword. It will take a bit of foresight or simply a quick reaction to get through without being burned. Unless of course someone here use to be a steam pipe engineer, then they might have some extra knowhow to put to use.
Fuka is a nimble and narrow person, but she does wear fairly heavy armour so she's not the best at passing through narrow passages. She gamely follows however, and manages not to get stuck. It does slow her down somewhat, and she's relieved enough to get free of the tunnel that she pays little attention to the steam vents.
When it comes time to run the gauntlet, Fuka hasn't been giving them the attention they deserve. So, seeing others begin their run she does so as well, only to end up shrieking as she gets a face full of hot steam! She's not too badly hurt, but her jerky goes flying, and she turns to spot it lying on the floor, looking dejected. "Well crap. Now it's ground beef. No way I'm going to eat that now!" she insists.
"...Steam." Prophylaxis sighs, darting between narrow gaps in the steamy gouts, some missing him by little more than a hair. Somehow, he manages to make it to the other side of the hissing pipes without more than a couple of close calls. "Hold on," he says, pulling a few restoratives from his pack. "Let me patch those up before we run into anything that can exploit burns."
Setsuna gets caught in a steam blast and there is a horrible moment of the steam blast ripping off his arm , and then Setsuna is back in the present and waits one extra moment as the steam blast that would have vaporized his arm and given him a cool two-face cosplay goes off in front of him. " Right ok so the timing is 3,3,2,3,5,1,7,8." Moments later Setsuna is moving through the tunnels to avoid the steam with crazy accuracy, as if he has speed ran this level 100 hundred times already and memorized the timing. In the end he gets to the other side with the others, some worse for wear then the others but the good doctor is on it.
Fortunately the steam tunnels have opened up into a chamber and away from all that steam. This chamber leads to another chamber and then another and then into one with a single chim and a blinking chim. The chim looks at the group for a moment before running off, the blinking red light revealing itself to a metallic sphere that transforms into a mechanical guardian. The mechanical guardian rises up holding a wicked looking sword and shield and is moving to do what it has been programmed to do, deal with intruders. Now one could analyze the structure of the guardian and dismantle it, or there is the brute force approach.
Either irrationally peeved at loss of her snack or at her getting a face full of hot steam and looking like a fool in front of everyone, Fuka makes up for it by... charging in recklessly! Well, not exactly recklessly. She's the tank of the group after all, considering all the casters and the offensive might of Vertina. With a battlecry she lunges in, only to ram herself into the little chim's shield and bounce off. It may LOOK small, but it's metal and Fuka's more air than metal.
"Okay, this is starting to suck." Fuka notes, looking up. "Hey Prof, got any more of that medicine? I *swear* I'm not doing this just to get a prescription! Ice cream's my only drug!"
So many knife wounds.
And there's one of them now! Prophylaxis' expression flattens as he weaves a spell over the party. It's a regeneration buff! This means that Prophylaxis doesn't have to spend time healing, and can instead just huck rocks at the angry brass ball.
Setsuna, to be fair, even if he isn't an oracle user would still be classified as a dirty cheating jerk, but that is why he is in Scale. In fact as the guardian begins to move in to attack, Setsuna does the most cheatery thing he can, every few steps he throws up a column of earth infront of the guardian so it runs into it like a cartoon character walking on a rake. With the regeneration of the doctors effecting everyone it is easy for Fukaziroh to get back up and throw herself at the shields again and again and the only thing she might suffer is pain but it eventually will work and every time Fukaziroh hits the guardian it's health drops a bit.. On top of that you have the newbie sword of Schneider's cutting away the armor hit by hit . Of course the real kicker is Vertina who does not slay the guardian with a kick but instead uses her head.
With the guardian beaten they are able to move forward, which is when the group sees a trio of Terraformers, working on deconstructing a wall. That is until they notice they are being watched and flee and the room responds with throwing up a wall of flame to block the adventurers path. So the party is going to have to figure out how to deal with fire, and the fact that it is a fuel based fire means you can't solve it with more fire.
"This would be a great time for Blueberry Frosting!" Fuka claims, though she doesn't actually seem to mean foodstuffs. What she *does* actually mean is anyone's guess. But she considers, nods. "Should still work." she says, and begins a brief, chill chant.
This turns Fuka black. No, really. Well, kind of purple to be honest. Very dark purple. She floods her skin with dark mana, the energy-dampening properties plus her armour is rather good at preventing harm. She waits only long enough for others to dampen the flame jets then scoots through. "Last one to smack a terraformer has to buy the first round!" she cries out, rushing onward enthusiastically. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, her defensive shell doesn't last, and her protections fade as her skin returns to its normal colour.
Okay to be fair she doesn't -directly- use fire to stop fire. But she does use one of her alchemical concoctions that is also highly combustable, by throwing it into one of the fire projector's fuel supplies. Which starts it on fire. Which burns up more of the fuel, drawing it away from the device turning it into an obstacle. So in a backhanded way, yes, she did fight fire with fire.
What else did you really expect from Scale Emblem? Telling one of them fire is not a good option is like challenging them to find a way to use fire anyways.
(Also, what kind of loot will she drop? That's the big question we're all asking.)
But they've got other things to deal with first. Things that exist in the here and now. Like this wall of fire.
"Honestly, you'd think all we did was toss fire at our problems," the doctor grouses, before clacking his staff against the ground thrice. A wave of ice blue flame leaps from the earth, tearing into the wall of flame and... inexplicably neutralizing it. "At least we can learn to use fires of other elements, hmn?"
Setsuna attempts his own way of dealing with the fire, he tries to create a vaccuum around some of the fire projectors to starve it of air. Instead he creates a flash of more intense heat and fire and ends up burning himself. Fortunately the others pick up the slack and manage to shield themselves to get through the fire. OF course Setsuna has to rely on Prophylaxis and Vertina's solutions to get him through the wall of flames and looks over at the Prophylaxis, " You have ice fire? How long have you had ice fire?"
At least now that they are past the wall of fire they can now return to tracking down the terraformers. The group manages to get intoa massive room with the walls covered in foliage and a whole bunch of terraformers. Each one seems to be working with plants, many that do not appear to be native to Yamato or even this planet. The terraformers are all distracted though so it is the perfect time for a sneak attack.
Fuka looks crestfallen at Proph's explanation. "Oh." she says unhappily. "I... just wanted to make sure you felt appreciated! Plenty of healing needed!" she explains. "I'll be more careful." she promises. "Like, maybe throwing fire at our problems. Fire is always a good solution." she agrees.
She stays back when she sees the terraformer-filled room, looking to do some damage from afar. Not charging in, not taking risks. "Energy-draining, I think." she says, quietly beginning a chant, not all that dissimilar to the previous one. But she's already used a ton of dark mana, and her power fizzles out before she manages to undo any of the robotic forms. She's not happy about it, but at least she doesn't require healing this round!
Sneak attack? What's that? Vertina just charges across the chamber to kick one of the whatever in the back of the head. Or what passes for a head.
She might be a good distraction though.
He chants, "Deep Doomsday. To the spirits of land and air, bound by the pact, fulfill your obligation now." He pauses, then invokes, "MEGADETH!"
The explosions are intense, and filled with sorcerous dark energy as well as the fire, and the sorcerous dark energy is what actually seems to have had an effect. But, boom, targets down, that's the important bit.
"It's fine, don't worry about it. I've got heals if we need them, I'd just /prefer/ not to need them." In other words, don't stand in the templates, people! Or the giant angry plant AOEs, for that matter.
Speaking of which.
"Hm," Prophylaxis makes a curious noise and taps his staff against one of the plants from behind its ample cover. It stirs, disgorging a belch of acidic nectar all over the terraformers shuffling around the opposite side. "Fascinating. I wonder what these plants might be able to tell us about these weird little brass things."
The distractions goes forth, most people refer to the distraction as Vertina but after today that may be her codename for the rest of their time in this world and a good distraction she is. Setsuna is able to use her distraction to shadow hop and appear behind a terraformer stabbing it with his dagger and it falls to the ground. Another one is simply surrounded ina spell of darkness called Megadeth and there is an explosion that ripples through the fabrics of reality. It feels weird, and is only stretched out more feeding on Fukaziroh's energy and catching several of these terraformers. As for the rest, it appears some plant has gained sentience and is spraying acid on them, they are not happy.
In the end the terraformers are scrapped and they find a way through to a strange room that looks like some sort of testing facility, all of this has Setsuna looking a bit confused, " So we are in a fantasy setting right? More and more I am getting a sci-fi feel here. these terraformer things are they alv tech? Gnome tech? Our tech?" They can hear a rumble coming from a room outside the facility and investigating it they find a couple more terraformers with a very large robotic friend drilling into the wall. They are not happy to have the adventurers spoil their drilling fun and turn aggressive immediately, but in the end this is what adventurers are here for. To do that what adventurers do.
Fortunately Fuka's poor mood perks right back up when Proph says it's fine, even if he's a little huffy yet. "Ice fire huh? Afraid I don't have anything that cool." she says. "Working on a lightning rod though! I'll show it off when it's done!" she claims brightly. It'd be pretty useful here, to be sure. Again, her timing isn't great. Blueberry Frosting isn't done yet, and neither is her lightning rod. That's okay though, she still has her trusty Chopstick!
She charges into battle, leaping aggressively high and slamming down dramatically with her axe. "Hey you, shiny metal bite my butts! I'm AXEING you to LEAVE!" - yeah, Fuka's in a good mood. Fortunately, she's actually not too bad at the whole axe-manic violence scene!
Meeting one in the face with a flying ki-charged kick, that is. She backflips on the rebound, recovering faster from the attack than the monster does. Which gives her just long enough to stomp feet back to the ground, grab the terraformer, and swing it around. First to smack several of his fellow monsters away from her. Then a second time. A third time. A fourth time.
And that's where she lets go, hurtling it towards the controller atop the Drill-Digger construct! Who cares about the machine if you take out the guy controlling it.
Whatever the case, they need to put a stop to it. The Divine Beasts want nothing of this encroachment into their territory. The connection the doctor shares with one of them tells him so. And so he reaches out and, without another word, conjures a zone of bittermost cold directly on top of the digger. Gears seize as they freeze, bolts pop and shatter as the cold turns them brittle and glassy. It's just a matter of mop-up now, and the others are more than capable of that.
With the power of the five party members power combined the drilling robot blows up in an epic level of explosion that is above and beyond the level of explosion that one would expect to come from a robot of that particular size. This came from the power of darkness,ice,fire,axe and fist and all of that is simply to much for the robot. As the dust settles and the smoke clears who is to say where these five heros will appear again but it is safe to say they will be around again if any drilling robots appear to cause trouble once again.
In the aftermath of the mess the group would find a decent supply of earth crystals, plenty for the group. As Setsuna takes his he looks at the doctor, "We should give them one of the empty floors, like the fifth and let them go to town remaking it." Yes once again Setsuna is looking to bring new neighbors to the tower. "Could have a whole floor of acid spitting plants, and robots wanting to kill us."
Fuka shrugs, slinging her axe onto one shoulder. "These aren't gnome-made." she asserts, but doesn't give a reason for that belief, just doing her best to sound wise and mysterious. Her best isn't great. "But uh... maybe not these? If you're taking suggestions, why not fill the level with slimes? Slimes would be neat!"
Prophylaxis got a crystal for his good deed today! It rumbles in his hand like it were communicating a distant quake.