Duty Session 580: The Mountain Memorial

During the time of the Firefly Festival, it is common for people to seek out old memorials in order to pay tribute to those who have passed. However, not all remembrance sights are easy to reach and some have been overrun by monsters over the years. A group of travelers have reached out to the Hunter's Guild, looking for aid from Adventurers in order to trek to a memorial stone seated high in the mountains. It will be a dangerous journey, but they seem willing to brave it in order to honor their ancestors.

OOC: This quest is only available during the Firefly Festival. This quest is largely 'Combat'-concept based.

Difficulty:    Easy
Rec. Party:    3+
Rewards:       1
World Rewards: None

Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

Even with the warmth of late summer, the high reaches of the mountain
range still show snow against a brilliant blue sky. At least, for now,
it is relatively pleasant weather at the base of the mountain, where
greenery and trees still grow.

Three landers stand, looking anxious, awaiting their Hunter's Guild
guards. It seems to be a family, with older and younger members who
have been chosen to take the long journey to the memorial site. The
Landers have brought heavy coats, walking sticks, and backpacks full
of provisions, likely over-prepared for what lies ahead.

A Hunter's Guild representative stands with them, welcoming the
Adventurers. "Simple task. Get these folks up the mountain to the
memorial and back. Shouldn't be too difficult for Adventurers like
yourselves." He sounds confident of that fact.

Soujiro seems more than willing and capable to protect people on their way up a mountain trail. He gives the representative an approving smile as he waits for others to file in before the climb, chatting with them to ease the family's burden.
Tolbana - Main Square

Miho was swamped with orders unable to help out with this sort of thing last year. This year however she was ready. She was all suited up and ready to go.

"Aye, escort them there and back. Keep everyone safe to boot."%

Her tail swishes a bit and she seems rather confient about this. Given her own skills and whom she's running with.

She will take a moment to look to the family and grin.

"Don't worry we'll get this done."
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

The pass that leads up the mountain trails through an area of dense
forest, filled with the usual sounds of bird calls and animals
chittering. It is a relatively pleasant walk, without much in the way
of dangers.

That is, until they reach an area where the ground grows more rocky
and the trees begin to diminish into sparse clusters. A bit of wind
whips through the area, though the heat reflecting off the nearby
rocks keeps the air warm.

It's easy to spot the bears, even in the distance. Massive
brown-furred creatures seem to be clustered around what might be a
kill of some sort, though it is little more than meaty gore at this
point. Blood covering their muzzles, the bears immediately notice the
travelers, likely taking them for a threat.

A roar sounds first from the largest of the three, followed by the big
male charging in their direction. It is likely a bluff of some sort,
and someone trained enough in how to deal with animals might be able
to send the bears on their way. Otherwise, they are easy enough to
frighten off with sound. Frightening them off physically might be
possible, but... may not be wise.

Soujiro takes the peaceful approach. He is all for slaying monsters and aggressive animals, but that bear is part of a family, like this one. He extends his hands to Pratt-Keep the bears, calming them down without a fight as he looks to the group, "Families of all sorts." Its a path to a memorial. Perhaps more loss isn't warranted today.
Tolbana - Main Square

Miho is in good spirits as they head up on their way she will pause at the Bear. Okay lets see how to deal with this, oh dear. They caught The bearm, wait no several bears who were eating. She stops for a moment and looks at the creature for a moment and she'll start doing what she can to back up Souji, her posture is non threatening she'll take it nice and slow as she helps edge the group away from the kill.

"Aye, we should make it clear we don't want to steal their dinner..."
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

Not far from the edge of the trees, the path curves along a rocky
slope leading upward. Eventually, it seems to vanish into a dark cave
which has been etched out of the mountain side. Inside, it becomes
clear that this was once a mine, now abandoned and empty.

At least, it seems so at first. Abandoned mine carts and broken tools
are discarded in tunnels along the main pathway, while some areas seem
to have been blocked off completely by landslides over the years.
There is a fine layer of dust on most things, but that also means that
there is obvious signs that they are not the only ones to have passed
through here.

Tiny, almost lizard-like footprints give an indication that something
else dwells down here in the darkness. This is enough to alarm the
Landers, who all seem to stick closer together, letting the
Adventurers take the lead.

Eventually, they reach a place where some rocks have been placed in
the road, almost too intentionally, and that is where the ambush is
sprung. Colorful kobolds scurry from the darkness, pointing rusted
spears and weapons at them, chittering in some language that is beyond
their comprehension.

Kobolds do not get the same level of consideration as the bears do. It is instant when Soujiro sprungs into action, pulling a Scott Pilgrim reverseal against a flying Mathew Patel kobold. The small beast slams into the wall and shatters into pixels. "Take turns switching out to protect them," Soujiro says. It is more for the frightened landers than Miho, who he knows already can read this situation. "Nothing will harm you while we are here," he adds in, switching to the defensive.
Tolbana - Main Square

Miho's long got used to her somewhat changed senses given her horns are her ears now. She still taking in everything and enjoying herself on this hike. But as they go on they will fin they have some more trouble, she's not feeling very bloody minded either as they run into some group of Kobolds. She ighs at bit, and will take a few out. 5R
"They just won't give up will they?"

She'll be making use of tank swapping as they fight way though the Kobolds.

"Don't worry we have this well in hand!"
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

After what seems like an eternity trapped underground, the way angles
up again. As the cave opens up into the mountainside again, the light
from the day's travels has dwindled, leaving a brilliant red and gold
sunset that is breathtaking this high up in the mountains.

The journey continues through narrow ledges in the stone, sometimes
making the party have to walk single-file. Along one section, large
boulders seem to have become nesting places for some sort of feral
birds. The ground is littered with avian refuse.

From above, there is a squawk of alarm which seems to rally a number
of others. Wingbeats follow as dire eagles take flight, trying to
protect their nesting place from these intruders. Soon, birds are
diving at them in numbers, sharp talons slashing out towards the party
members and Landers alike.

The targetting of the Landers puts Soujiro into that low samurai stance. Slow footsteps advance with his hand on the hilt of his katana. Like the action movies, when the birds get close to attack he lashes out, cutting them down in a display of force that shields their escort from harm. "It was a good move to ask the Hunter's Guild for help," he talks to the Landers as they advance, "many of us Adventurers would be worried with how dangerous these mountains are. Thank you for trusting us." A sparkly smile amist the continued carnage, but from Miho's side when they are not as close.
Tolbana - Main Square

Miho may or may not mutter a few lines from a certain digging song, good naturedly mind you. Soon they get outside and she's quite happy. Sure they got to hike up single file, but that shouldn't be an issue. She does keep alert but then comes the birds, freaking birds.

She'll use her various tanking abnilies to shield the paties.

"We will get you to your destinaion and back! Have no fear we got this."

She will spin her nagtinat a few times like a certain Mega Man boss helping to keep the enemy at bay.
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

The temperature begins to drop further as night begins to fall,
casting the mountain into darkness. It is easy enough to light their
way, but sometimes the Landers lose their footing or need help to
navigate in the dark.

As the path circles further up the mountain, things begin to look less
man-made and more a part of the natural environment. They go entire
hours without seeing a single thing that would suggest this was an
intentional path made to get them where they are going.

That is, until they come upon what looks to be a ruined bridge which
spans a chasm between two parts of the path. Parts of the rock are
missing, but there are wooden boards which have been placed across the
gaps, though some of those look suspect as well.

As they move to start across the bridge, there is a rumble of
something and a huge hand reaches up, pulling a massive troll up from
somewhere it had been living beneath. It stomps, causing some more
rocks to be broken lose, heading towards the party with a massive club
held high..

The samurai moves in to intercept the troll's attacks. Souji focuses on keeping the beast pushed back. This is the situation where he would rely on Wave Artes users to blast it with fire. No matter, he loves a challenge, and does so by igniting his katana with fire magic in regular intervals to work against the beast's high endurance and regeneration.
Tolbana - Main Square

Things are a bit chilly and Miho does not like it. Since the day she woke up as a Salamander. She had a lot less tolerance for the cold, she keeps up apperances but she's shivering even with being decently dressed. She will stop for a moment at the Troll grimaces at this thing. she ant heat she will bring the heat, some of the magic triggers in her armor and a wall of fire appears about her as she charges right at the troll, attempting to set the thing on fire as she attacks with her polearm!
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

The farther the party travels, the more of a chill the air carries.
Eventually, the ground begins to crunch beneath their feet with frost
and snow. There is not as much of it here, in these summer months, but
it is still bitterly cold.

"Not much further." One of the Landers informs them.

It is not an easy climb. Made worse by the howling wind and cold.
Then, just as the memorial stones come into view, something massive
blocks them. The creature has long, white fur that seems to lie in
clumps, with long arms and a hunched build. The Yeti seems to have
made this place home, and is not happy about intruders.

It grabs a chunk of rock and begins to launch it down the mountain
towards them.

Lately Soujiro has been Weird Mooding over something about 'thread'. A thing that Gwen would probably love to hear about. Its more the threads of fate that Souji is obsessing over. It is when that boulder is thrown at him that he breaths a misty breath from the mountain air. "I can see it," he says as if time is slowing down and for a moment he catches it, "the opening thread."

For as confusing as that statement is, Soujiro draws Kogarasumaru and slices forward in a clean, near-perfect arc that splits the rock in twain. He draws the blade closer to him as the Hymmnos runes on it glow. They hum as he affirms, "I have sworn an oath on this blade. I will protect those that cannot protect themselves. Avenge those that have been wronged." It pulses with white light, "We intrude upon your land because we must. If you respond to us with violence," and he leaps into battle, yelling out, "then we shall in kind. To protect the smiles of those we love and we have yet to meet. To bring them closure so they might heal." CLANG! Soujiro loves combat, no question about it. He is an athlete, always pushing his body to a new limit. But he is also kind, welcoming, and unyielding against those that threaten the happiness of others.
Tolbana - Main Square

The good news is once they hit the end, the Landers get to do what they need to do? The way back should be clear still. After all the only living threat left behind was the bear swho would have headed off after finishing their meal. So she didn't worry about what was going on. She had notice souji was acting a bit odd, she's inspect him later when this job was handled. If something was up? She'd let his crew know about it.

She charges in, nod needing the danger,. she will let him do his speech thing, he's better at it than she. It's like he wandered out of something like Kenshin, or another series along those line.

"You will not be stopping them from getting to their destation! Flee or fall creature! FORGE's FURY!"

Then comes the chain of attacks which make it almost seem like Miho herself is on fire or is fire...
Soujiro Seta
Tolbana - Main Square

The Yeti is a difficult foe even in the best of times. It seems to
lack some measure of strength, perhaps because of the time of year and
the lack of surrounding winter weather. However, it still puts up
quite a fight.

However, the creature seems to have some measure of intelligence. When
its health drops into yellow, it gives a frustrated roar disengages
from the fight, grabbing for handholds and clambering further up the
mountain and away from the memorial site. Soon enough, it is out of
range to continue fighting.

The Landers, relieved to have finally arrived, scramble up to the
crude set of stones. They light a set of candles there, bowing before
it and placing offerings out onto the rocks around it.

One of the youngest in the family sniffles as they look out to the
night sky around them, obviously showing just how much loss has
effected them.

Eventually, after a long time, they turn back, ready to descend the
mountain once more. However, the youngest one offers up a token of
appreciation to each Adventurer.

Soujiro stands as a victorious samurai atop of the mountain summit. Kimono billows in the cold wind as does his long blue hair in the ponytail. He watches as the Yeti absconds, wishing it no further ill will.

When it is Soujiro's turn, he too lights a candle. Says a prayer. Kuroe and Mune. May you have peace with each other now that you have reuninted him with Kogarasumaru. Kero. That you forgive yourself and extend prayers to your lost friends. To those that perished during the Waves that occur during the Tower climbs. He gives deep and thoughtful prayer before attending to the Lander family and their grief.

A knee drops to the snow as the child offers a token to him. Soujiro is a strong young man, but he feels how much suffering this family has been through. That Yui has been through. Arms wrap around the child and he gives him a hug. Strength doesnt mean you can't be affectionate. Can't cry. And in Soujiro's embrace the child slowly breaks down, crying as the samurai keeps him safe. Mind, body, and spirit.
Tolbana - Main Square

Miho is calming down when the whole fight over. She'll give their employers a big goofy grin and a V sign when the monster falls. then she'll move on with them. Once they get to the site she will get quiet and keep back to let them do thewir thing. She will be the lay to light a candle and say a prayer of her own, but it's silent. She looks out at the sky and something takes her an idea, she's had the materials starting her in the face for some time. She will set a hand on Souji's shoulder however as he cries she's not sure what else to say to him...she'll tell him her idea when the time is right..