The Gardener 2: The Golem Garden
Now that they've had time to begin preparing for the proper battle, it's time to go back and revisit the Gnome Garden. Having managed to get clippings of the Wineberry Brambles, a party is built to go back on the search for the Withering Rose, the beautiful base for the Witherless Rose.
PREVIOUSLY, ON MEET THE GARDENER!
A party had managed to track down roughly the location where the Witherless Rose's base flowers are grown, after exploring deep into a less explored area of the Ninetails Dominion. After tracking down the ancient garden where they were grown, they encountered a giant golem creation which had made them have to flee, but they'd managed to get a snipping of a rare plant off of the gardener itself, which gave them hope that they had found the right place!
Now that they've had some time to prepare for the giant mechanical menace, another party has been gathered, invites sent back out to the original members along with others that they think might be willing to assist in their hunt for LORE.
In one of the smaller villages of the Ninetails Dominion, Pela was currently waiting for the others to gather. Having arrived last night, she'd spent the time learning what she could about the history of the area, as well as helping out with odd jobs and making sweets for the children of the village. Which are now surrounding a quiet Pela who is mostly just trying not to get overwhelmed by the small landers who were swarming her with questions and trying to get her to play hide and seek with them. "...Sorry. ...Have to wait for my friends. ...Cannot play now." She murmurs towards the children.
The white haired human arrives on his Peko, Karen. The blue navy jacket and tuff of white is seen first, but compared to Karen he looks barely there. Karen is a big birb, a draft Peko meant for endurance and agricultural work, not racing or combat. He dismounts, stabling the big bird with fresh water and feed. A pat on the side before leaving to meet up with Pela and crew. "Hey Pela," he offers, raising a hand in a wave. The same wave goes to Goldenblade. "You sure are popular here," he says as he observes all the excited children trying to get her attention.
Yes, yes she could. She does that all the time.
But not this time! For she rides in, on her peko, Not Stolen. As stately as an Uta can be (which is to say, not much), even mimicking the sound of a trumpet with her mouth as she sings (?) a triumphal march!
She gets off, ties her peko to a post with a nearby through, and offers a coin to the Lander who is supposed to tend to the bird. She then heads towards the party, waving.
"Hello, folks!", she says. "Are you ready to-"
"What was it that we were going to face today? Was it the Witherless Rose and the Gardener in Ninetails, or was it the Barrier at Ezzo?"
She looks around, eyes narrowed, as she takes in the architecture of Ninetails and most definitely NOT the barrier and glitches of Ezzo. "Don't tell me, don't tell me... I think I got it...", she gestures.
"This is going to be fun!"
She hops off her own Peko who the world still does not know her name. Gwen meanwhile looks to Pela with a big grin.
"Pela! I have a present for you when this is over!"
"...Yes. Volunteers are still welcome." Pela responds to Goldenblade as she comes over, dipping into a polite curtsey towards her. She smiles towards the children and gently shoos them, "...It's time to work, I'll come back and play with you later." She says quietly, before looking back up towards Goldenblade. "...We're hunting for the source of the Witherless Rose. ...We found a remote garden ruin. ...Probably gnomish in origin. Guarded by a fearsome golem guardian."
Haru appears to LORE! Gasp! Wait no there's no gasping, just another curtsey from Pela. "...Hello, Haru. ...Yes. ...I go out of my way to spend time in the villages of the people of the land, helping out. ...I bring sweets for the children. ...They like them." She gives a small chuckle.
And there's Uta! Uta is here! Riding in on her Peko that is definitely Not Stolen and not some other mysterious Peko. Trumpeting on her ride there? Alright then. "Hello, Uta." Pause. And then Uta seems confused! ... ... Pela just lets her work through it for a minute, possibly amused at it. Before she says softly, "...The witherless rose and the gardener in ninetails." Gotta let her know one way or another. Even if it does kind of ruin the fun.
And then Gwen appears! Pela actually moves over towards Gwen now, slipping around people to... grace Gwen with one of the rarest of drops: A Pela Hug. ...Okay it's not that rare but doesn't happen that often. "...Hi Gwen. ... A present? ...I will look forward to it." The hug ends quickly, and Pela is back to the polite curtseys!
This one towards the last member of their party, Kauchemar. "Hello, Kauchemar. ...That seems like something useful to have with you, metal-eating monsters." ... ... It's not necessarily the best trained, but t hat's fine, right? "...Okay, I think this is everyone, which... seems like a good mix of people, too."
Pela pulls out a small map, which she unrolls and places on a table nearby, it's a relatively close drawing of the area here, with a rough route drawn on it. "...Getting down to business, we have a route that we can follow from the last time." She traces her finger along the route. "It's ... about an hour or two from here by foot." Peko would make it faster, but Pela hasn't gone out of her way to tame one of those yet. "...We can get under way whenever everyone is ready."
When Pela pulls out a map, she will look over her shoulder, and she nods. "Horses aren't as fast or as agile as pekos," she admits. On the other hand, she doesn't feel like a complete dork riding one. "I can ride or walk, either way. But the good thing about a horse is you can take a passenger." She eyes Pela, "If you'd like."
Practice for the mole or her keeping him in check is up for debate.
"Hey, I resent that remark about horses!" she joking retorts at Goldenblade. ".. And I don't think Threnody would take well to a passenger. Sometimes he still tries to resist me despite being familiar."
"Yes I made you something!" She enjoys the hug, she hugs back holding Pela for long as she'll allow, she then lets go and she looks to Uta for a moment with a grin.
"Good to see you too Uta, Goldenblade and the bard of Metal."
She'll fall in with the party not trying to take point if she's allowed to.
"I'm ready to go!"
"That sounds a lot like what I used to do with making accessories before the War time. Flower crowns were popular with the kids." Albiet short lived. He gives a turn to Gwen as a reminder on that note for FASHION accessory trainings.
The focus gets distracted with the monster. Being Haru is Haru, he Inspects Kau for any debuffs like fatigue or hunger before going full 'eat and sleep' mode. "Very curious! Especially with the Earth and mining. Exactly that. Precious metals and gems are very hard to get ahold of for accessory forging and enchanting both. Alchemical catalysts compete for the resources. " he notes about the monster. Its always a fascinating time to see Handler's monsters.
The Artificer looks down at the map as he settles in the group near Uta, "Im ready for heading on foot. Always ready for an adventure." As much as anyone can.
"The baaaaaaahrrrrdener and the rose in Ninetail! Of course", Uta exclaims with a snap of her fingers, with Pela somehow managing to give away the solution just as Uta had started rattling out the wrong one.
"Oooh, a present? I'm eager to find out as well! I like it when people get presents. Surprise! Excitement! What is it going to be? No telling! I- why the grin, Gwen?"
Her excitement is cut short by Kauchemar.
Uta gives the Nightmare a long, long, looooooong pensive look. Then it's her monster's turn. Kauchemar. Monster. Kauchemar. Monster. Goldenblade's horse. Monster. Goldenblade's hors- wait.
That is not Kauchemar.
Slooowly turn head back to Kauchemar. Monster. Kauchemar again.
"...Does that kind of monster think of Metalworking as the Cooking skill?", Uta asks, out of the blue, a limp finger pointing at the Rock Mole.
"I am ready whenever you are!", Uta tells Pela, and swings her arm to slam her staff on the ground to underline her statement.
Except that she isn't holding a staff, so her arm just swings in the air, and after she regains her balance, startled, she places it behind her back, as if she'd alway meant to do hat
"...The area is overgrown, so it is likely safer for your mounts to walk. ...If tied up, they may be attacked by plant monsters." Pela responds quietly to Goldenblade. "...I appreciate the offer. Thank you, Goldenblade." She gives a small, if warm smile towards the taller woman.
Pela listens intently to Kauchemar as the explanation is made with regards to the earth summons. "...That is very useful. ...If it eats the metal, though, can you get it back? That seems like trouble if it eats it all before the workers can get there." Unless it refines metal in its body or something. That would be a thing. And kind of neat. Also gross. "...There may be a lot of mechanical things in the ruin. ...It's got some gnomish tech in it. ...So there may be some fun snacks for it, at least. So long as it sticks to the already-broken things."
Pela gives a small nod towards the talk of something being made for her. Presents are nice! Pela normally is the one giving random presents, so she is legitimately not sure what to say in response. Beyond, well, "...I'll look forward to it."
The talk of special consideration for her safety gets a nervous chuckle from Pela. "...My church is in Mac Anu, so that is a reasonable point to make. ...If my health drops too low, I will retreat. ...But short of that, I will be acting as normal because one doesn't find the interesting things in this world without risks." She flashes a small smile. The exploring solo player in her showing through.
Aaaand. There's just. Compliments happening. Pela is shifting slightly, looking ever so slightly uncomfortable, her dusky skin growing a little darker on her cheeks from a blush. "...Children do like those things, yes. ... Unsure about the extremely dangerous part. ...Except maybe with the boys." Regardless, it seems everyone is ready to go!
So Pela will start leading the way, giving a vague description of dangers they might encounter on the way, mostly some plant monsters to keep an eye out for and avoid stepping on or anything like that, which makes them much easier to avoid! Soon they were well under way, delving into the overgrown area, some of the plants giant versions of normal plants that might make everyone feel as small as Pela! Don't mind the giant sunflowers, they're just growing out of control, right? "...The area seems even more overgrown than before." Pela points out thoughtfully. Soon, though, they were nearing the area that the garden itself was, and where the gardener would normally appear. Pela holds her arm out to stop the party. "...That right there is where the gardener came out of last time. So be ready for a boss fight. It is high level, so do not hold back." She takes one step forward, and that port on the ground opens, revealing the sphere of the Gardener, which unrolls immediately into its giant mechanical form, shifting on four metal legs and with several arms and attachments at the ready. It doesn't seem to be attacking yet though. Perhaps they're still out of aggro range.
And her horse isn't with her, it's in a stable closeby. "I was just offering it. It was a huge pain to find one for sale, so I'm careful where I go with it," she explains, and when Peka describes the terrain and hazards, she likes the walking plan better and better. Luckily, if Haru and Uta want to proceed on foot as well, that makes life easier. She's not a particularly skilled rider, riding double would probably be a challenge even without the predatory flora.
So, she'll set out with the others, following along, alert for danger, or as alert as she can be without special alertness training. Luckily, Pela knows the area, and she stops when warned, watching the Gardener, wondering, "Can we go around?"
"Humm Interesting and yeah lot of demand but not enough supply."
She also looks at Uta for a moment and she grins.
"You will find out!"
She now thinks for a moment.
"Dunno never thought about it that way Uta."
She looks to Pela and nods.
"If I have to take a dirt nap to keep you safe it's okay it's my job, right?"
Gwen is on alert for the moment planet, she gets how this could go given the nature of the world.
"I don't intend to ever hold back against monsters."
"Okay fair she's not Ozzy's level...yet."
Or maybe even constructs like the Gardener. We'll test that theory when the time comes... Though the way the Rock Mole starts to squirm under her arm, he can definitely smell it. "Geeze, hold still."
Although Haru is a poor outdoorsman, he gets the Earth element. Its the saving grace for walking around the wilderness area in near druidic fashion instead of like a well versed hunter. "Last time we went anywhere near the grove it went full agro," the Artificer lets GB know. "Guarding seems like one its primary functions with a detection radius to support it." Still, he watches, taking a moment to run a finger along the silver rim of his monocle. The purple lens lights up with circular white lines, slowly rotating, as he analyzes the creature. "Though distracting may be viable enough to get the Withering samples. Last time a full on engagement was high risk."
"Rock Hamsters. Are they a thing?", Uta wonders. "Hoarding metal in their mouth and..."
Uta, studying the creature from afar, nods at everyone else. "It was a tough opponent. We need a better strategy this time." She turns to look down at the small catgirl maid. "And we'll make sure to protect you in any way we can." She looks up at Gwen. "But let's try not to die, ok? Just... retreat safely. Dying is something I'll gladly avoid."
"...It is important to keep your treasures safe, yes. ...Whatever shape those treasures may be in." Pela responds to Goldenblade with a soft smile. The question of if they can go around gets a small frown from Pela as she looks around. "...Possible, but unsure. Think that this is the only entrance to the garden, though my scouting was... ... debatable at best, because of not wanting to get killed."
Mention of taking a dirt nap gets a small glare from Pela. "No. ...Dirt nap, unacceptable. ...We will just run if put in extreme danger. ...It doesn't seem to leave a certain area around the garden, so as long as we do not take the fight too deep into its territory, escape should be possible."
Hmm. The rock mole seems useful, but also troublesome. Still, repairs to the garden could come later, once they get control of it. And understanding of it, of course. "...Yes. It should be useful against the gardener." She looks up towards the giant form of that sphere-turned-robot. "...Regardless, we should do... something." She taps her lip. "If it's like other constructs...should be weak to lightning magic. Extreme heat may damage its parts or hinder its movements, too. Ice is always useful for hindering movements." Pela says while quietly Examining the gardener. Yep. It's a boss monster. Multiple health bars.
"...Rock hamsters sound adorable. ...Maybe a good pet if non-aggressive." Pela muses out loud. The talk of strategy gets a small thoughtful look, and Pela draws one of her wakizashi, slotting in two lightning spell batteries into it and doing a two-handed hold on the shortsword. "...Since we're not surprised, we can likely get a good first strike on it this time. ...Which will help with the fight if we can target important locations." A spark of lightning along her wakizashi's blade, which grows in intensity as Pela takes a deep breath. "...Regardless. ...I'm ready."
Gwen will leave it at that but she seems to agree with the idea of, if things go bad we run. Whe'll keep up front for the moment and she pauses nodding.
Gwen will ready a sword art.
"Gale of swords!"
She'll be charging in trying to draw the agro of the monster as is her job...
"Starting us off with a debuff zone for enemy accuracy," the Enchanter says, taking his position towards the back of the party and starting to chant. "Tenebris. Cadit. Lunae Lumen. Oriri. Occultare." A small black cat comes from his shadow, summoned as one of the Artificer's elemental monsters. Red eyes and two tails that flick up towards the man while the Arte is being cast. On the last part of the chant, a thick black fog blankets the area. Like a light in the darkness, a small spherical moon illumiunates the area in a blacklight effect for the party, maintained by the small cat that hops on top of it and sustains it above the battlefield.
"Maybe I should work -with- your instincts instead of against them so much..." She takes another cookie bite, then kneels down to set the mole on the ground. Though with her hand on top of him to keep him from bolting right off. "Okay, Wreckloose." Then lets go, standing back up.
The Rock Mole immeadiately hops forward and somewhat cartoonishly dives into the ground. Dirt can be seen undulating slightly to track his movement as he burrows towards the Gardener. Under the Gardener.
And then the ground cracks open under one of it's legs. Hopefully enough to briefly unbalance the thing, while there's now a hungry metal eating mole trying to chomp down on said leg and drag it down.
Kauchemar takes another idle bite out of the cookie. "And that is how you undermine the competition."
So if it's got to be a fight, she'll look for any weaknesses that might be exploitable, however small. Small weaknesses can always be hammered open. Haru's news draws an 'Aha!', and she'll act on that, rushing in and starting off with a blow backed by insights from her skill at construction and weapon forging, both swords out, each blow aimed at a gap in armor, a mechanical gear, or some other vulnerable point, concentrating on the joints that connect limbs to body just as Haru has recommended.
She breathes in and out, leaping on the spot in a relaxed combat stance to warm up. "Ok, then... here it goes..."
She darts towards the Gardener, attempting to be as silent as possible until she's close up, and then...
Thunderous boom, and crackle of lightning, this is what follows the Nurse's lunge forward; her Lightningstep is a triple sonic and electric discharge, with a spinning kick between the second and the third, to make a better and improved kick... with CURRENT!
Uta's Flying Kick II: Electric Boogaloo.
Fall prey to the Palace Landers. Those words actually cause a shiver to run down Pela's spine, the fur on her tail standing on end for a moment. "...Yes. ...I intend not to die." Ha ha ha ha oh gosh that's terrifying. And then the attacks begin! Gwen darting in with a Gale of Swords to slash at and draw the aggro of the monster! Her blades unfortunately mainly strike hard metal locations to deal relatively minimal damage!
Haru, meanwhile, points out the weak points on the enemy, before casting a debuff on the area, a dark fog reducing enemy accuracy while a small moon allows for the party to see. Pela's gaze briefly falls on that mooncat, before flicking back towards the task at hand.
As combat continues, Kauchemar's rock mole dives into the round and chomps on one of the Gardener's legs, causing it to stumble a half-moment as it moves towards the party, before pulling hard and starting to walk with a rock mole attached to its leg, the saw blade on one of its arms starting to whirr into life to begin to remove the attacking mole.
But luckily Goldenblade dashes in with blades drawn, stopping the incoming attack against the mole and instead causing the arm to briefly lock up from her expert strike, the grinding of gears briefly audible as the arm moves jerkily, before turning back towards the party.
Pela dashes in with that electrified blade, her wakizashi being brought to bear against the threat to start attempting to strike those weak points. But possibly due to the thought of falling prey to the Palace Landers, Pela's strikes don't ever seem to bite particularly hard anywhere, in spite of impressive, thunderous blasts with each strike, they just wash over armor and deal minimal damage.
Finally, Uta darts towards the Gardener, leaping into the air and a lunch, her foot spun forward... and then... smack! ... .... The kick hits the gardener! ... With... relatively minimal damage to the Gardener itself. Uta's foot might be a little less comfortable after that though, if not armored. Whoops.
The Gardener, meanwhile, moves that damaged arm out somewhat straight, the blade whirring hard as it suddenly rotates around, bringing the sawblades into a pair of angled strikes to those nearby, and at the end of which... the sawblade sparks and fizzles, the blade ceasing spinning, and that arm stuck straight out. That's one weapon down, it seems. Only three to go!
However Kauchemar has gotten back into the swing of things. "Com'n, you did your part, get back over here." She stuffs the end of the cookie in her maw and draws her staff, giving it a fancy twirl. "I feel time for a beat-ing coming on." She swings the Grindcore Staff to hook the horns of it's skull-topper one of the offending limbs. But can't seem to quite get enough force to break the apparatus off it's body.
That'd be her new staff with the Heart of the Maiden at the top, held in place in the helical grip of a wooden snake, sculpted to coil all around the handle.
"Alright...", she says, this time slamming the whole thing PROPERLY. "Let's see how you deal against- SLIMES!"
She intones a bouncy J-pop tune, tendrils of light and magic curl around the staff and focus into the gem; circles of light pop into existence all over the place. When she slams her staff with the final note, slimes erupt at all at once from the 'summoning' circles, bouncing towards the Gardener!
Let's see how you fare against one of the the lowest level monsters in the game, you multiple-bar boss!
It becomes more obvious which skill this is when Haru begins to chant, "Ignis. Pluma. Ambiente. Ardeat. Nos." Correction. It becomes more obvious what Wave Arte he is using when the big fire bird appears out of the fast spinning four ioun stones that are sent high up into the air. The firebird arrives in a dive, crashing forward towards the frontal chasis in its hawk-like descent of intense elemental heat. It draws back, flapping its majestic burning wings. Another deep flap. The area becomes hotter like a summer wind in the desert by the next one. Feathers swirl around the area, not unlike cherry blossom trees falling in season. Several affix to the Gardener, burning and softening the metal in a Burning debuff that also provides a healing effect to the pinion owner: Kau.
She will rapily move to attack again.
Wait what? No she's not trying to blow herself up, just a bit of a cultral disconnect for such a term has a different meaning for Gwen rather than, someone ramming a plane into something! The wind focued magic slices 0out like blades against the golem.
A carefully aimed blow once more from Goldenblade, which strikes the base of those shears! Whirrrrr! The arm of those shears moves jerkily after that strike, and the blade moves towards Goldenblade, only to get stuck on something rather suddenly, stopping the oncoming attack!
The horns of a staff hook into the arm of the gardener, yanking and pulling on it and... it shifts, the arm straightening and allowing the staff to slide loose, before getting back into a ready stance as it aims that pesticide towards Kauchemar and unleashes a puff of the poisonous gasses towards her -- and the monsters!
It was originally aiming for the rock mole, but as slimes appear, the pesticide is swirled into their direction as well, creating a large cloud of that poisonous gas towards the party! And ... those poor slimes! ...Maybe they'll get lucky and become poison slimes instead of just dying!
Pela, meanwhile, after weaving in and out of those sawblades, activates those lightning spell batteries once more with a burst of mana, and she quickly brings her wakizashi up towards the poison-spewing arm to disable it mid-attack with a burst of electricity that paralyzes that arm temporarily. Unfortunately it's still spewing that poison gas, but at least it's moving less!
Into that oncoming attack flies a firebird, which burns away the worst of the poisonous gas, which luckily will reduce any further poison on the party members that may have been caught in the gas! ...Though it won't help those already poisoned, it at least won't allow more stacks to build. The Divine Wind from Gwen... blows past the golem, blowing away what's left of the poisonous gas, while Goldenblade redirects! Though with the main force of her attack aimed at those shears, the damage is relatively minimal to the pesticide arm, which is starting to spew that gas once more, a bit more wildly due to the damages caused by fire and lightning to the arm! ...Luckily a paralyzed arm makes for bad aim.
No, despite the superficial similarity it's not, 'I am a Dwarf and I'm Digging a Hole'.
A layer of rock erupts from her skin for a moment, giving her the vague appearance of a golem for a moment. She gets ready for a counterattack when, suddenly! Oh, hey, it's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's-
Wait, yes, it -is- a bird. A firebird. Ooooh.
Uta just stands there and watches in amazement. Luckily, for some reason, Stoneskin seems to protect her from the poison. Filtering properties of carbon?
She eventually snaps back to reality, with a blink and a shake of her head. She inhales, straightens her back, spreads her wings, and rushes in to beat those limbs HARD. And repeatedly.
Also, rhythmically. And musically -- she's going to sing over it!
She's also a little busy getting out of harm's way, fluid motions like the rippling current of a river as she whirls away from the bursts of gaseous poisons.
And somewhere in those dance-like she spins around several times. "Time to live up to the other part of your name, little guy." Kauchemar plants a hoof to hault her twirling, using the momentum to throw! "o/~ And I came in like a WRECKING BRAWL o/~"
The Rock Mole is hurtled rending claws first at the Gardener at high speed with the force of a landslide, Fastball Special style.
"Crystallo. Serratus. Lacrima. Assula. Inimicus." the Wave Arte begins to be cast. It pulls off the fractured earth magic in the area. Uta's stoneskin. The intense Kau beats. Even the rocking rock mole's rockitude. They all rise into the air like a series of fractal shards, rolling back towards Haru as his orbs swirl around to pressurize them during the chant. The Artificer's monocle lights up again, white lines lining up a target. Found it. The hand drops and the skewering shard shoots off like a great bow's projectile right towards the machinery's weakpoint.
A percussive solo strikes at the already-damaged legs of the Gardener, which causes further damage, even breaking off the already-gnawed-on leg and causing it to clank to the ground as the Gardener now moves with a jolting limb-p to compensate for the missing limb. This is followed up rather handily by Goldenblade finishing off that pesticide by jamming its nozzle, causing some something hidden under the armor to burst, green liquid dripping down through the exposed pieces of the Gardener onto the ground with a sizzling hiss of dying plantlife.
Meanwhile, an angry mole is launched towards the Gardener, starting to deal heavy damage to it and breaking the shears arm the rest of the way, causing it to clatter to the ground with a particularly vicious bite! The loss of limbs causes a weaker central portion to be exposed by the atttacks, allowing that arrow to shoot straight into it!
Pela takes advantage of the damaged and revealed weak point to dart in with her wakizashi to stab into that weak point, which leaves the Gardener stumbling and open for the final strike!
Gwen darts in to the Gardener's chassis, stabbing her blade deep into it and unleashing a lightning blast straight into its core, which causes the gardener to begin to twitch and emit a high-pitched screeching noise. Is this a self destruct mode?! ... ... ... Kind of! The enchantment core within the construct's chest crumbles with a crackle of energy, and the Gardener falls to the ground, harmless.
Now the party just has to start exploring the garden itself.
"...Yup, it's an elemental machine," she declares with a nod. "Sadly, I lack the skills to properly analyze it, both in game or out of gam- hm. -Technically-, it's a monster, I wonder if..."
And that said, she attempts a Monster Handler/Medical inspection, to gather as much information as possible about it.
Then the Were Fang meanders a bit from the group. Not so far as to get lost in the garden, just to give herself a bit of space. Wedges her staff into the ground to brace herself and closes her glowing eyes. Tries to focus on the Gnome Gardens, but not the here and now. She lacks the skills for search of the modern grounds, so instead she's attempting to peer back at the then and how. Before the place was forgotten and left to the ages.
"Reminds me of home, in a way," he says to Uta, pulling a delicate board out with his hands, "I worked on hardware a lot. The whole family business thing." He looks at it, "But its like relearning it from scratch. New laws. This technically isn't even a circuit board. It uses mana and enchantments. Not semiconductors and a data bus."
Huff. Huff. Pela slips to her knees once the combat ends. Even if she'd managed to win, there was just something terrifying about that possible eventuality of her dying in an event like this. Pela wipes her brow and looks up towards Uta. "...Yeah. ...I mean... that wasn't surprising. ...It being an elemental machine."
Examining the machine...! ... ... ... Probably gives some decent information, really. Mostly some stats and a small lore pearl from the examination. 'The guardian of the Garden of Senesence, the Gardener was originally created to tend the garden with its tools, however years of neglect have left it aggressive towards intruders as it awaits the return of its creators'.
Goldenblade... starts to look into the garden itself! ... Which she doesn't manage to find too much interesting that was already obvious, a ton of plants grown wild and untamed over the years, and many of which have to be burned away to get access to areas of the rather large garden managed by decrepit elemental machines.
Peering into the past, however... finds... a vibrant garden with a great many rare plants managed by several gnomish farmers. Many of the plants commonly known ones that don't normally survive well in captivity. Such as the entire reason that the party had come to this place: The Withering Rose. The Gardener can be seen in the vision of the past, walking around and carefully trimming and watering plants as it goes while the gnomes work on attempting to figure out the puzzle of a new plant that they've discovered that is already withered and dried out. A few magical barriers are in place as a form of makeshift greenhouse to protect some of those fragile plants.
Meanwhile, Haru starts to examine the Gardener! It is... a fairly standard example of an elemental machine, to be honest. Much of its metallic parts left behind and inscribed with various enchantments and other things to control its movements. The spreading of that pesticide has caused a large amount of damage to the various useful information locations however, so it's hard to see a way that one might reverse engineer the Gardener. Especially as it is quickly breaking down into those red pixels of light that monsters generally break into.
"...We came looking for the WIthering Rose. ...So probably some withered roses." Pela responds to Goldenblade. "...Though they might not be withered right now? I don't know when they bloom."
"Right! Rose!", Uta exclaims, clasping her hand together. "Let's see if we can find it!" She reaches for the glowing device in her necklace, and taps it.
A mini-map of the location appears in the air, to show the current area, and a blocked off underground section (not really secret... more like, blocked off by damage), at which point she says "We should really start looking for that rose. Where do we go?" She then turns to Haru, "Oh, that reminds me, I might need to ask you for another favor... think you'll be able to merge the Songbird pendant with this relic?"
She strolls back over to the group, trying to refrain from yawning as she does so, and failing to keep it completely down. "Com'n you." She picks the Rock Mole up as what remains of the shear arm, not much after he's been chewing on it, fades with the rest of the Gardener. "And we need to be careful. I only saw that Gardener construct, but that doesn't mean there aren't others elsewhere. Or other defenses in general. Because, you know, Gnomes. They're almost as obsessive about having traps as Goblins."
Pela stands as conversation continues around her, quietly starting to examine the plants. Honestly, the entire garden was beautiful and somewhat confusing to her due to the effects of her Relic. So many herbs gathered in one place, each of them glowing to her vision as something worth gathering. She quietly starts to wander through the garden, before stopping next to a small plot with a few withered plants in them. "... Here? No... mmm..." She stands up again, looking towards... a pot. She looks at it carefully, sniffing the pot and looking carefully at the plants held within. "...Maybe..." She muses out loud.
An underground area? "Ah... maybe in that underground area?" She walks towards where the entrance is supposed to be, what was once a small building is now overgrown with vines and basically crushed. "....Mmm. ...Clearing this might take time."
"Magic glass is something traditionally difficult to work with because of how glass does not like to be etched or enchanted without fracturing from small impacts... so frankly it's an interesting project just as a proof of concept idea." Pela murmurs thoughtfully. She lets Haru fully explain the enchantment, while Pela gives a small nod towards Kauchemar. "...That is my theory. ...It's inside, instead of outside. ...But we'd probably have to carefully take apart the building to get inside without damaging things. A collapsed building rolling down into sensitive equipment or plants sounds like an awful idea." Pela murmurs. Haru follows up -- or well, really, she follows up on Haru's own comments while thinking on it. "...Anyway. ... ... ..." She looks around quietly at the garden. "...I'd like to make a garden like this sometime, I think." She murmurs quietly.
Gee, wonder who she's talking about.
No Herbology there, does it show?
"And then you can merge your passions and create a... uh... maid... garden?" She scratches her head. "Not sure how that'd work, but, hey, follow your dreams, right?"
"A metal bar could be interesting. Wicked guitar solos. Nice drinks. Wait." A pause. "No, you meant..."
She shrugs. "I'm anti-half-assing things because I like to make things that last, that anyone can take advantage of without needing to be .... special." The way she says 'special' implies it's not a good thing to be.
Twitch twitch. The explanation that the magic and people without magic. "...Magic is just a different application of technology and code, though. ...So I wouldn't say that enchantment is half-assing it. ...It takes a lot of precise time and effort to create an effective enchantment, and can make use of resources that technology can't easily make use of for those things." Pela says softly, shaking her head a little towards Goldenblade. "...And just like with technology, magic can be used to make things that anyone can use, like how my Spell Batteries allow landers without much magical skill to use their spells without much issue." Pela continues. A little bit of passion! Kind of! Sort of. After she's done talking though, she makes her way over towards Gwen, reaching to lightly pat her. "...Thank you for trying so hard to protect us."