Duty Session 450: Spinner's Deep
After the efforts of many Adventurers to finally clear out the creatures from within the mines on the Isle of Beginnings, the Landers are finally able to return to their work. However, the first miners have reported an unusual room within the first levels of the mine.
The room seems to be the source of the previous infestation, but now shows a strange glowing arcane circle that refuses to allow them to pass. The Landers have reached out to the Hunter's Guild, seeking capable Adventurers to find out what lies beyond this strange device.
What is certain, is that the spiders in the mines now known as Spinner's End, had to have come from somewhere. Danger lies on the unknown path ahead. Are you brave enough to face it?
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: None
The sounds of hammers and picks on rock echo as they walk. Life has returned to the mines due to the efforts of the Adventurers. Occasionally, there is a bark of a guard dog and the scampering of feet as they run to join their newly returned masters.
The pathway has been cleared for them...
"Look at how nicer this place looks once the cobwebs have been taken care of," comments Uta, finger on her lips, as she looks left and right. "Keeping a place clean does wonders for its appearance."
Having been locked into her own projects and 'assisting' Haru with his own, Fuka's been a bit antsy about training. She tries to keep a balance of things, and clearing dungeons and monster infestations is a major part of that. Plus it's fun and lucrative! She invited Haru along, half expecting him to demur because of his extremely important and somewhat secretive work. This might be why she suggested he come with her to 'have some fun'. Mention of Uta may or may not have been made at the time.
Bubbly as always, the little troublemaker Sylph nodnods. "I have a new appreciation for keeping things clean." she agrees, casting a significant glance at Haru. "It's a DRY HEAT indeed." she adds, rolling her eyes dramatically.
"And we are going deep into a cave," the Enchanter says as he waggles his eyebrows, the one blue eye looking at Fuka. "Start clean, end filthy." Waggle waggle. Looks to Uta. Waggle. To Shiruba. Serious face time. Phoenix Wright style slapping one hand against aother, "a serious boon indeed. Mineral and Metal extraction is keep to economic pursuits. We cannot have untidy mines in mine mine." It isn't his mine, though. Hand slap against illusionary evidence in his hand. "We must go -deeper-. If we haven't hit Balrog, we haven't delved deep enough."
At the center of the chamber there is a slightly raised dais, which a circular platform sits. Carved runes appear along the edge of the circle, though they do not seem to resemble any known language in Yamato. The same runes appear throughout the room in various fashions.
"The teleporter!", Uta exclaims. She rushes towards it, barely containing her excitement. "Okay, okay, I was here before. This thing runs on magic. It's activated by specific musical patterns." She gestures at the glyphs. "The bits there should explain how to go through with it, but if we can't decipher them, it's okay, I'm sure we can brute force the thing." She scratches her cheek. "Might take the good part of the day... but, hey!", she looks back to the team, beaming. "Karaoke night! It's gonna be fun, right?"
"If we do run into a balrog, I'll definitely hit it." Fuka agrees roguishly. "Ten out of ten, would hit." she adds. Then seems to decide it's a good idea to go off on this tangent. "Not that I mind getting dirty, but the key is to START CLEAN!" she explains. "And clean up after too, naturally. Seriously, ladies..." she adds, moving to speak with Uta and Shiruba conspiratorially in a way Haru is clearly meant to overhear, since it seems Fuka has no volume control. "He's been so distracted with his work that I have to literally drag him off to wash up. I have to feed him. And I have to carry him off to bed!" she complains. Though she seems rather pleased by all this, not minding, just griping loudly.
Her singing, as it were, ends up suffering. She's trying to get a reaction, and actually she's grinning rather hard at innuendo and obviously deliberately mistakeable meanings for two of her straight-manniest friends when it comes to innuendo. So it makes it rather hard (giggity) to sing on-tune and on-time with Uta. Fortunately karaoke night doesn't require *good* singing, just having fun. And Fuka's an expert in that!
"If I run into a Balrog, I'll be o/~ Dyin' in your arms tonight~ Musta been something I did. I shoulda dodged away. Now I pix-el-ate o/~" Haru sings, poorly, as only a body that hasn't kept hydrated or rested well enough can truly pull off without alchemical assistance. Add in the dancing and the bells? Well he looks like he is letting off some steam from all the long hours, so thats good. He just needs one of those ties tied around his forehead. Of course with all this Haru-ness, the main target is Fuka and it is a major distraction to serious project like a sleep drunk programmer.
The innuendo gates are open, and its full contents are uneashed on the poor Uta, who, after the mandatory, tentative "It's a strange mood, that's how it works" and some stuttered useful advice, faced with a neverending barrage probably ment more for teasing sake than anything else, will just LOOK AWAY AND FOCUS ON SINGING. She's not blushing. YOU are blushing!
It takes a lot of focus to tune out Haru's karaoking.
The runes of the Arcane Teleporter eventually activate, surrounding the group in a blow glow before they emerge in a dark chamber, lit only by a few sputtering torches that are held in sconces and encased in spider webs. A feeling of moisture hangs in the air, the sound of trickling water from somewhere further into the darkness.
Wandering further from the entryway, the tunnel continues until it seems to stop at a dead end. There, at the end of the hallway, is a strange statue. Carved into stone, a being that looks vaguely humanoid stands, although much of the features are covered by robes. Rather than a human face, it has long pincers, a series of glossy eyes, and monstrous plating.
A thin, clawed hand is extended from the statue, pointing towards an altar set before it. It appears, that to continue further, the Adventurers will have to offer up some sort of sacrifice.
"Okay, the offering alter. Nothing major has changed down here since last time I've been through." Shiruba makes note of that, then walks over to the statue. She takes out several feathers and small bones, left overs from making arrow fletchings in her crafting lessons, and deposits them on an outstretched hand of the statue.
Haru opens his menu and selects a limestone rock. He hits a quickcraft to the tune of a figurine of a Balrog. Lacking any Artistanry skill points, it comes out as a bit of a carved blob. "With deluxe edition collectable," he says to the motionless statue as he places the mini on the altar. If it could sigh, it probably would.
There is a pause as the Artificer looks around and considers Shiruba, "Should have made it a Fukalrogutaruba. But then what material would I have left for Chapter two?" Haru's head shakes. Jingle Jingle.
Seeing Uta blush, Fuka smirks. "I don't mean like THAT you know!" she clarifies. And of course, she makes it all worse. She always makes it worse. "If I carried him off for THAT, he wouldn't be getting any sleep! And poor Haru needs all the sleep he can get these days! Plus of course if he's tired and anxious to get back to work and ... well, you know, then I'm going to end up disappointed!"
She goes off hunting spiders, figuring a live sacrifice is one of those evil altar things and also rather nastily appropriate. Of course she doesn't relent on the subject of Too Much Information either! "I'm not going to make a pass at a balrog though, if that's what you're worried about. And definitely not THAT balrog." she adds, looking down at Haru's offering. "I'm not THAT frustrated! Or are you afraid I'd make a pass at you?" she asks Uta. "For shame, near-sister! That's soooo inappropriate!" she smirks.
It seems that Shiruba's offer causes a reaction -- there is mechanical whirring, and a stone begins to slide off- only to stop with a jarring cacophony of gears.
It's jammed. Was it the Fukalroguta? Hard to tell.
The vertical crack in the wall is barely large enough for an Adventurer to squeeze through (with a -lot- of effort and possibly some pushing).
The tunnels appear more roughly carved the further the Adventurers travel into the depths of the mine. There are long scratch marks in some places, as if something huge had scraped the stone as it passed through. Eventually, the way opens up into a taller chamber, but it does not make their travel any easier.
In fact, the entire room seems to be made up of spider webbing that stretches high up into the air and down into a chasm below. Though the weavers of this mess of webs are not immediately visible, they obviously live somewhere within the strands. The difficulty is trying to find a way across the threads without alerting the spiders to their presence.
Shiruba has to, ah, squirm a bit to get through the awkward opening, between the floofy tail and her other feminine assets. But manages. Though nearly stumbles into a web as she gets through. "Crap... be careful, spiders detect motion through vibrations in their web threads. Don't touch anything you don't absolutely need to." After which she does exactly that, cautiously picking her way around the webs while only walking on the thicker clusters that won't vibrate as much to get over the chasm.
The Enchanter considers Fuka's statement, "an unsatisfied Fuka is like a hungry spider." Notably because as he says this he is staring at an angry spider. A hungry one. One that is giving him the eye, all the eyes! "Best to have plenty of snacks around before the demon gets summoned," he says as his jingle jangle does little to avoid the attention of the enemies. He manages to do a good job of not hurting himself during the chasm crossing, though!
It's a tough squeeze for Fuka going through the narrow crack in the wall. Despite being the smallest party member, she has the heaviest armour. Fortunately the armour maximizes flexibility while still using plates for protection, so she's not really at risk for getting stuck or needing to be pushed through.
The next bit, however, is a bit more beyond her. "Shouldn't we just light the webs on fire?" Fuka suggests quietly. Sure it'd get attention, but isn't that what you're literally supposed to do? Fearing dirty looks and accusations of being Scale-like, Fuka shakes her head. "Fine fine. Don't blame me if I get stuck!" she insists while trying to weave her way delicately between webbing strands.
Spoilers: she gets stuck. Hopefully someone can get her free without too much alerting of spiders or burning of Fukas. "A little help here! Or the innuendo will have to resume while we beat off the spiders!"
The ground starts to become thicker with spider webbing the further the Adventurers delve into the depths of the dungeon. The way continues to descend downward to a set of spiral stairs which lets out into a truly horrifying sight: a strange underground jungle has formed here by some miracle of dark magic. Strange plants glow with eerie, purple and green leaves. Pools of black sludge seem to burble at times, bubbles rising up from them and popping with an acidic hiss.
Spiders move amongst the leaves, each nearly the size of a human being. They stop to drink from the fetid pools, as if they were lacing their pincers with poison. They, too, have an unearthly glow to them, as if the taint of this place has become part of them. However, the Adventurers are not part of this strange environment, and the spiders sense that. Soon enough, they turn eyes on the Adventurers.
It takes a bit for Fuka to recover her dignity after getting stuck in sticky goo. Not that dignity and Fuka see eye to eye on many things but what happens in the dungeon should hopefully stay in the dungeon. Still, seeing the spiders that presumably caused the problem in the first place, seeing them load up on what appears to be poison, makes the little Fukaziroh not particularly eager for a confrontation. Sure Uta can heal a poisoning but ... no. Nope, just straight up nope! "Why did it have to be poison spiders!?" Fuka wails, a little melodramatically.
"Oh right, because just normal spiders are BOREING!" she adds. "No insult intended to Terra naturally." she directs at Haru. Brandishing her axe as a talisman rather than a weapon, she chants a spell which is likely very familiar to her friends by now. Air and water combined, super-cooling a bolt of manainto a form that freezes what it touches, rendering it brittle and easily dealt with; either ignored or shattered.
"I wasn't thinking about that," Haru considers to Shiruba, "but I kind of am now. Do you think Enchantment was involved? Earth Enchantment? Or maybe..." yes, this continues throughout the entire fight.
Combined attacks from all the adventurers dock the HP of the spiders, and soon they shatter! Onwards to the next challenge!
The environment begins to grow more and more strange, the walls glowing faintly with an eerie green color. Drops of acid seem to hiss from the ceiling, falling on the unwary who dare to pass further into this tainted place. At first, it seems like they are heading for a dead end, but the wall lifts as if it senses their arrival. It opens into a boss chamber which looks suspiciously like the one they had left in the mines above. However, the coloration of this room is more unearthly. The strange etchings on the wall all glow with that eerie, acid green. Standing in the center of the chamber is a massive spider which seems to be an unusual shade of white. Flickers of blue seem to move across the creature's entire body.
"I got this!", Uta exclaims, and charges up her musical sonic attack. A high-C shockwave is blasted towards the spider, and-
The spider /blinks/ out of existence only to reappear halfway across the chamber. Whatever this monster is, it has a very dangerous teleportation ability. "What the-", Uta exclaims, her eyes narrowed in outrage. "THAT WAS MY BEST ATTACK!"
Only for the fiend to let out a shriek as it attempts to tele-pounce the Cait Sith, taking an arrow direcly to the midsection and sending it tumbling back down the chamber. "You can't outhunt this hunter." Interestingly, Shiruba's eyes are closes. It's the way her wolf ears are tipped forward and twitching that signal how she's aiming. The monster disappears from view, so she's listening for it's movements, and firing at where it leaps out of it's blink to attack rather than trying to aim at where it is before it teleports.
Suck it up? At least wait for some privacy before making such a request! Fuka grins at the innuendo, and at Haru appreciating her comments as an inspiration to do great things with Terra. She likes being an inspiration. What she doesn't like is deadly spiders.
Not that she's an arachnophobe. She just doesn't like the deadly nasty horrible ugly ones. The cute ones are just fine. A Phase Spider now, it's not exactly horrible, but it's not very nice either. Fuka readies her axe, counting on her awareness to protect her and her friends. Spells, in this case, are not her best friend. Even her beloved Chopstick is merely a tool. Fuka's best weapon right now is her brain and the reflexes born of the lightning in her soul.
As the spider phases to attack, Fuka whirls and engages it with a mighty swing! "Hah! And people say I lack cleavage!" she yells, engaging the phase spider with all the might of a tiny battle fairy. She's no Shiruba, containing beastly senses, but she still is fast as lightning. Well, maybe not quite, but she's fast enough when it counts.
Going, going, and gone! A simultaneous blast from all of the party members makes the Phase Spider explode in a gajillion pieces. A chest containing Phase Crystals drops, and the boss room is finally clear again! Alas, where the monster stood, there is a barrier of light: "Adventurer Level 25+ required to Enter."
"Well done, team!", Uta exclaims, raising her staff in the air. "Another cellar successfully cleared of rats!" She sighs. "Man, these rats get uglier every passing day. More eyes, more legs... spinning webs..."
Washing off spidery goo in the ichor of her enemies, Fuka seems in a pleased mood. "You should have said you wanted to dance!" she flirts with Haru, spinning and smiting as she stays close to him. She can protect him with axe and armour, and he can protect her with blasts of earthen force whenever the big boss mob decides to focus on her. It's a mutually beneficial dance, and she couldn't be happier about it.
Panting and flushed with victory, Fuka peers over at Uta. No, she's not going to contradict her friend. Let someone else correct her. "Mutant rats with eight legs, eyes, and nasty sticky webs! I know I want to get clean now, after this 'cellar' crawl! Anyone want to join me for bathing?" she asks, more than a little suggestive.