It's a quiet and breezy afternoon in the fields of the isle of beginnings, the grass swaying with the strong winds near the entrance of a mine. The soon to be set sun had cast the fields in a grim hue, making the normally golden foliage seem almost bloody.
Rhi was standing near the entrance, looking for all the world nervous and ridiculous in their too large clothes, hauling a three-headed flail and a large shield with them. They look up as they note their companions approaching, "Ah, you guys picked up the notice too?" They ask, seeming relieved to see familiar faces.
Viviene is approaching the entrance to the mine, walking with her usual grace, today it seems like she has managed to keep her gear in good shape, as the weapons she carries do not look damaged for once. She nods to Rhi. "Last we met, I said I'd give a shot at questing. Here we are, Rhi." she said, and bows to Lunaris. "Good to see you as well, Lunaris." she cracks her knuckles. "Shall we?"
Lunaris is as energetic as always, not really leaving much to a lax pace and soon dashes around the place with a long whistle, "Talk about a weird vibe here! It's like it knows we're about to go down into mines and get bitten by nasty things!" And yet she grinned anyway, giving a nod to the gathering party as she spins around once again. "Lets hope we don't get poisoned! And good to see you both again! Viv, already sorted those weapons? Or just new?" She asks, eying the undamaged swords with emerald eyes.
Rhi blinks for a moment as they realize that their two friends already know one another and they grin, "You're already friends, th-thats great! No introductions needed then, let's go get bit up!" They let out a little giggle as they walk, turning to smile at Lunaris. "How have you been? Haven't seen you since we killed that demon, I wanted to talk to you about the different uses for its horn... did you know it responds to life force energies?" They ramble a little bit in that topic before they glance over at Viviene, "Glad you decided to take up a quest, this one shouldn't be too awful if you aren't afraid of spiders!"
and then they come into the old boss room. They trek through the mines was free of any sort of monsters... or workers for that matter, and when they reach the room they come to find symbols lining every surface, all feeding into the circular stone in the center of the room. "Hmmm.... this definitely looks liek it has something to do to magic... hit it kind of looks like it has some kind of response to sound too... I'm gonna go look at the runes." Shuffling off and touching at the pendant at their chest, a soft humming coming from them.
Viviene looks around, pondering, she approaches the teleporter. "Theres a tune to this. I can faintly make it out." she accesses her inventory and pulls out a guitar, strumming it some as she closes her eyes, focusing on the tune and trying to reproduce it, a small application of magic is also used to adjust for depth and pitch, but her guitar looks like it hasn't been used in a long time, and she seems to have trouble keeping it on tune, the sound reverberating through the room becomes a bit painful to endure as she winces. "Goodness, I'm out of practice, and my instrument needs tuning or something. I did not know that instruments in this world needed that, but of course they do." she watches device though, as the sound hums ominiously, she keeps her guard up but otherwise she seems to have made a bad impression of her musical talents.
"Yes we met a couple of days back! Viv was trying to get a sword that didn't break so easily.. I told her it'd be easiest to just not be quite as strong.." Lunaris flashes a grin as the group descend down into the mines, at least the cobwebs had mostly been cleaned out from recent expeditions. "I've been great! Havdn't done much since, working on my cards takes a looot of time. Oh yes! That's exactly what I'm using the horn for, to draw in life energies and such.. Any idea what you want to do with it?"A flick of her tail and giggle later she darts into the ex-boss room, gawping at the teleporter.
"I've heard about these! But seeing one? So much magic..!" With a motion Pecan starts to sniff around the base as she glances over to Viviene as she plays, humming softly along as her fingers alight with purple magic, starting to weave her fingers as if making a tapestly, "Oh! I get it. Think I can make.. This.. Work..?"
The teleporter flashes dangerously at thr discordant sounds of music, but luckily nothing happens, Rhi sending a worried glsnce over at Viv and saying, "Maaaaaaybe let's not mess with the teleporter until we know how it works?..." Their eyes are drawn over to Lunaris and they grin, "I'm an enchanter you know? Send people to me if you think they could use something small like a hardening ward. As for the horn, I have an idea for a ring that will let me harness how adaptive the powder can be, I think I'll be able to make weapons from it!"
Rhi themself takes their pendant and starts to read the runes in the wall, making a sound of comprehension, "Ah! Lunaris, make sure you include an element of water in there if you can manage it!" And then they are whisked off, whether Lunaris did as they asked or by sheer chance, they're transported to a new place. They walk for a time in a cavernous tunnel that seemed far too smooth to have been made naturally, and eventually come to an alter complete with a half human half arachnid statue. "Hmmm... looks like ot requires some kind of offering, maybe they worshipped some kind of monster god here?"
"An offering huh.. We're kind of in a mine, right? Theres lots of ore and such.. I could shake some out of the earth, maybe. I'll give that a try." she looks around, touching the ground, then a tremble goes through it, as she focuses, only for a chunk of granite to shoot out of the ground and whack her in the face for 3 HP damage, and knocking her on her butt commically as she said "Okay! Thats just unfair, im not even THAT bad at using earth. OWW!" she said, but anyone could see by a faint glint in her eye that she is being dramatic about getting blasted in the face of the rock for good humor, still, it did look like it hurt, as it got her right on the nose.
"Hardening ward? And I will do, might need to ask you later myself, we'll see! Need my prototype card first before I can guess," Lunaris replies to Rhi rather cheerily before they are all consumed in a sudden flash of light and transported. The Cait Sithe flails at the sudden move, almost falling over from vertigo and rubbing her head, "Ugh.. Do not like! A-and you said.. A powder weapon? Like throwing dirt in someone's face..?"
As her wits cone back, Pecan is already pawing at the altar and she glances over to the Spriggan, nodding at her assumption along with Rhi's. "May as well try.. See if I can't.." And her and Pecan get to work in an odd synchronicity, searching high and low for tributes on the more fleshy side, though quickly come up blank. "Hey, careful Viv.. This whole place might be unstable.." Walking over as she hears that to check on her.
Unfortunately for the party they had no such things to offer to the alter. They move along further down the path and find themselves inside of a large cavern filled to thr brim with webbing, sleeping spiders the size of small cars lurking g about and ready to pounce the moment their webs are disturbed. Rhi comes up short snd grimaces, looking at the rest of thr part and making a motion for them to be silent... or fast. They hadn't even bothered to try and make an offering to the alter, knowing quite well rhay they had nothing to offer. "Try to sneak by, if that fails, run like hell!" They advise, crouching and looking ready to spring into action.
"Sneaking? Follow my lead. I'll shroud us, just watch out for anything that jumps out, keep your wits to yourselves." Viviene says, having accepted Lunaris aid, the damage to her HP was thankfully minimal and she had grinned at Lunaris after they came to help her, now obvious she was over reacting for the sake of drama and fun.
But when it comes to stealth? Vivi gets focused and serious, shrouding the group in darkness, moving from place to place in shadows, and even if she had to, eliminating a monster with a sudden slash while she was invisible within the shadows. It was like watching a shadowy chamelon, with her dark shadows being something of a guardian for the group.
"Uh, sneaking is not.. I'll keep everyone distracted!" Lunaris offers instead with a wide grin, again those fingers weave, with each brush of fingers electricity starts to spark off of herself and Pecan, who she peers at with a mischievous glint in her eyes, "Split and annoy? Ready?" With a yip from the fox she takes no more time while Viv cloaks herself and Rhi as they dash from the cover, drawing attention to the two separate people, both moving far too fast to be caught, barely dodging a couple of attacks but managing all the same and hurling insults at the spiders at each, "All those legs and no speed! You may as well be.. Snails..!" They are well and truly managing to pull a lot of attention towards themselves. Professionals both at annoying people if nothing else. As the group makes most of the way across, with a sudden burst of speed they both vanish around a corner, skidding to a halt with the rest of their companions, panting before giving a salute, "Hah! Stealth!"
Viviene makes it through the area with shocking grace, having to silence a spider once or twice and somehow making absolutely no sound in the process, the perfect picture of an assassin.... until the thunderous sounds of Pecan and lunaris both rouses the multiple dozens of spiders, the sounds of screeching arachnids fills the air, but none of them are able to get anywhere near Lunaris or her familiar. Rhi let's out a long suffering sigh at thr display and just takes a step forward, vanishing from sight in an instant and appearing beside the both of them the next. The spiders, it seemed, were too large to reach them bow that they've left their crevasse.
Once they make ot past that trial, they begin to descend a long staircase that was very clearly man made, and find themselves in a horrible twisted mockery of nature, awful pools of acid and poison spread out among the dark jungle. It doesn't take long for the party to get spotted, as dozens of the huge monstrosities hurl themselves at the party. In a flash Rhi's body is engulfed in black and white fire, and soon enough a gnoll looking creature with rusty red fur appears, black marking all down its rough hide. It would seem the clothes they wear were designed for this form, as they fit almost perfectly to their frame, their two pairs of glowing red eyes glaring defiantly as their shield rises to defend their allies!
Viviene is met with another challenge that she finds difficult with overcoming, seeking to fend off the spiders with walls of flame, swirling about, she takes a fair bit of damage from the spiders as her fire walls just aren't enough. SOoner or later they'll start being overtaken, and the fire seems to sometimes ignite the acid here and there. "I'm holding them off as I can, but its not working so well, we need to move and fast!"
Travelling down further, Lunaris' eyes alight as soon as she sees the place filled with blight and poison, looking absolutely fascinated by the place, "This is.. Amazing! Wrong but absolutely amazing! Look at it, filled with magic, can practically feel it trill!" Her eyes sparkled with an admiration for the little spiders that were using this place so well to their own advantage. Then a grin grew over her face as she dashed around.. Poison was a kind of water, and Luna.. She was good with water.
With a wave of her hands and energy ice started to creep over her fingers as water from nowhere coalesced, taking the form of a humanoid, graceful and elegant, the Cait Sithe gave a joyful nod, "Lets have some fun Esra!" And with that the elemental let out a piercing song, bubbles of poison and blight raising from all over the cave, hovering there for a moment before slamming into the spiders, rotting and poisonous.
Viviene is simply met with challenge after challenge that she is not well suited for, her wall of flames serving well enough to do away with the poison on the spiders mandibles, it simply wasn't enough to kill most of them. Luckily for her, her skill with the sword was more than enough to cut down all that make it through, only taking minor jabs from the spiders long legs. Before her lay dozens of spiders slightly charred snd chopped into little bits! Lunaris has a much better time of it, being a summoner who could adapt to almost any situation, if not as specialized as Viviene. The elemental smashes scores of spiders apart, they are of course immune to the poison, but it would seem that high speed jets of water cut ad well as any blade, and soon enough all that is left of her targets is a gorey mess. Rhi spent most of their time on the defensive, stopping spiders from jumping on top of their team, though at one point a large enough group showed up that they drew in a breath, opening their jaw as a beam of golden energy in the rough shape of an arrow launches from their mouth, piercing a score of them before exploding!
As they enter the boss room, it seemed like the big arachnid had been waiting, a ghastly white beast larger than an old world schoolbus phases past the tank and goes for the only one who had any wounds, Viviene! It strikes out at her with huge mandibles, hoping to take her out swiftly!
Viviene is caught off guard - her natural senses were sharp in the world of ETO, but even then, she barely has a chance to react, as she gets grazed by poisonous mandibles, and her HP begins to start slowly dwindling from the poison, and she was already at 40% as it was, but, losing her composure, she attempts to try and wrassle with the thing despite it getting the jump on her, grabbing its mandibles with her bare hands and begin to grapple it, and with monstrous strength, trying to pry the mandibles right off the creature, or at least, hold the beast in place for Rhi and Lunari's to get her out of a very nasty situation! "Not sure.. how long I can hold 'em. Haaa.."
The tiny spriggan's struggle with the spider is so much, its actually causing small quakes within the boss room!
Before she leaves the room, Esra tosses over a frozen sphere of the blight into Lunaris' hands and she quickly stows it away in her backpack to be sorted out later for.. Whatever she was going to do with it. Dark magic blight had to be a useful thing to have, right? Probably. Though this place proves soon enough to be a cave of wonders for the Cait Sithe, as soon as she spots the phase-spider she seems utterly in love, dashing towards is before pulling herself just short with absolute admiration, "I want iiiit.. B-but it can teleport..." She sounds so disappointed.
It doesn't matter though, as the creature charges, she gets more serious, "Esra, freeze it!" She orders the elemental who slams their palms into the floor, frozen ice spreading from the point around the arena, though managing to avoid her companions to give the spider tough ground. Each time it slips, the ice reforms into small golems of ice, as Luna gestures with arcane lines. Those golems soon pounding and slicing at the creature, trying to scrape in every bit of damage they can manage.
The spider snd Viviene struggle for seconds, but even that short time had the entire place looking like it was going to collapse! Thankfully for her, Lunaris' ice and golems cause the big creature to slide snd lose its footing, and in its struggle to stay upright, it's mandibles lose strength and Viv is able to rip them right off! Of course this tears her hands up something awful, and when the poisoned debuff finally goes away she's left with less than 10% HP! Rhi wastes little time donning magical armor of ice and rushes forward to aid the pair, getting a few good swing of its flail before a huge leg sends it flying across the cavern, crashing into the wall and landing with a groan. Unfortunately for the spider, that armor does more than protect, and soon lances of ice burst from its body, chipping away that final sliver of health! Of course, then the level wall prevents them from moving forward, breaking all immersion. "Guh... damn overgrown insect..." The creature barks out. getting back to its feet. "Knew anything but fire and darkness was bad. Stupid ice."
Viviene just falls on her rear, resting. "Why's it always POISON? poison this, poison that, with how often I get poisoned, my veins might as well BE poison!" she laments, but as success is achieved, she rises and offers a high five to everyone, "Good work, you two, this place DEFINETLY doesn't like my kind of skillset, just glad I could keep the big spider busy." she said, she does look over her share of the loot. "Interestin' piece here." she noted. "Maybe I can use this for somethin'." she mentions to herself thoughtfully, a crystal floating in her hand before she goes to store it in her inventory. "Well, looks like we ain' movin further, but I say we come back here once we got the levels, huh?"
Lunaris whoops, jumping into the air as the spider falls and bursts into pixels. It was a job well done and they had well and truly earned the chest, which she took no time in looting, gasping happily at the odd crystal reward. "We did it! I think it goes dee--" A frown crossing her face at the message of being too low a level to continue and she slumps to the floor with a groan, "Nevermind then, still too weak! Silly judgemental door. Anyway, anyone wanna go to the baths after this? Great for cleaning off gunk and relaxing those muscles." The complaint about poison earns a healthy chuckle as Luna twists her hands, the elemental slowly separating and leaking into the floor, "You did great Viviene! Poison is hard, sadly I don't know many healing spells though I think Rhi might..? Still, baths?"
Rhi returns to their normal form in a flash of hellfire, letting out a soft, shaking sigh, "I-I reeeaaaaaally don't like that last spider... thank whatever God's there are that I was shifted." They complain with a small laugh, looking kver at Viv and nodding, sending a bit of golden energy their way and steadily watching their HP rise. "You did good, think you tanked better than m-me!" They offer with a small smile before glowering at the door. "I guess at the end of the day this world operates off game logic, huh?" They ask with a nervous chuckle. They turn ti Lunaris at the offer of the baths and their face goes absolutely scarlet, "U-uhm, I-I think i-it wouldn't be appropriate f-for me to join you... m-might be best you go yourself?" They offer, claiming their own gem with interest, doing their best to hot look at the energetic Cait sith.
Lunaris lets out a long breath, now more obviously panting heavily from exertation after that boss fight, having never stopped moving. "Muscle relaxing sounds greaaat," she agrees entirely with herself, starting to lope in the direction of the exit, "Sure, sure. Works on game logic for some reason. Don't really get why though.." Now the Cait Sithe's overabundant energy was gone her words came far slower and more understandable. "Oh, I have no idea, never been myself, they may well be gender specific anyway! Lets go see."
And so the adventurers depart, leaving the spider I feated hellscspe and heading for a lovely bath, at least one of their faces deeply scarlet and whining, trying to make up some sort of excuse to not go, but utterly failing. Rhi's fate, so it would seem, was sealed.