Duty Session 56: Spinner's End

The Landers in the Town of Beginnings seem to have a never ending string of trouble that comes their way. A few of the local Lander blacksmiths have complained that they are struggling to get the raw ore that they need. Apparently, the nearby mines have been overwhelmed with beasts and monsters, making it hard for the miners to continue their excavation efforts. It blips as an optional side-quest with a reward of improving the available resources in the Town of Beginnings.

Difficulty:    Moderate
Rec. Party:    3+
Rewards:       2
World Rewards: Increases in mining efficiency in Town of Beginnings.

Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Another day, another dime.

Well... gold piece. The cost of living in this world is extremely low, but that doesn't mean that there's no reason to go take jobs from the Hunter's Guild, or take quests from the People of the Land you encounter. In this particular instance, the wife of a miner had burst into the tavern near Plant Hwyaden HQ -- a popular hang-out for adventurers, even if the drinks don't taste like anything, simply out of trope inertia -- and begged for help. After surreptitiously finding out whether or not the quest was backed by a reward (it was; the Guild will foot the basic bill), Att Syne quickly gathered his party and ventured forth!

To a mine.

Discarded mining equipment, an overturned cart, and all sorts of signs of a quick getaway lay scattered about the entrance to the mine. Webs cling to the entrance dangerously, drifting lazily in the just-dramatic-enough breeze. The sun beats down on the tents setup nearby, flaps unsecured and interiors messy but mercifully shaded.

"Alright." Att sighs. He plants his staff on the ground, pointing. "That? That is spider-sign. Spiders in these games have really nasty poisons, up to and including paralytics or other physical slow-downs. Keep in sight of your party at all times, so you don't get grabbed, cocooned, and traumatically blood-drained all the way back to the Cathedral."

He starts for the entrance, sighing to himself. "If there wasn't the slightest possibility of a friendly being inside, we could just set a fire and choke 'em out. But noooo..." Att trails off as he marches towards uncertain doom.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Party, party! It's a party!

Called to the Town of Beginnings by the poor Landers, with their poor Lander problems, like how there's enormous nests of MMO monsters ruining literally everything about everything, for everyone, constantly. Some success has been made via brave Adventurers with little better things to do for experience in their level range but go to ANOTHER GOSH DARN MINE to kill ANOTHER GOSH DARNED SET OF MINE-DENIZENS.

It's a wonder that anyone ever gets any mining done, what with cave walls oozing monsters like a Cabinet Minister oozed during press releases.

At the cave entrance is Whiskey Sour, with a large wooden sign declaring her

And then the word 'rat' crossed out and replaced with Spiders

She seems a bit frazzled at this point, her eyes quarter-lidded and hunched over. "Please take care of me..." She sleepily calls, when she sees people - or shapes moving in the grass. She seems pretty out of it. But a guild member is here!

"Att, I'm saved..." She groans, her eyes watery with thin tears of relief. "I'm saved... There's no good men left in the world. They're all..."

Whis is besides herself, knees fully on the ground, arms wrapped around her sign. "... bad... at videogames..."
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     There are things a Hero of Justice just shouldn't do. They don't swear (Hell is okay, though), they don't let evil walk within their sight, and they don't turn down helping someone who obviously needs help (in public) (with their guild).

     So Shin is off with the rest of the party to go fight a *ton* of spiders! And save somebody! And get *paid!* And...level up?

     He's still getting the hang of this whole Video Game thing.

     "That's true," Shin says cheerfully from over Whis's shoulder, "I *am* bad at video games."

     He waves at Att, then looks down at Whis. "Are you alright? You need a hand?"
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

When it comes to party outings in the guild, Count V is nearly always a strong presence. Yes, he preferred Ezzo, but more than Ezzo he preferred party play. He arrives with Att Syne, casting an amused glance towards Whiskey Sour with her wooden sign announcing What She's Up To and What She Wants.

"Arson can't solve /all/ of our problems, unfortunately." He replies to Att, with a light bob of his staff in hand.

The same staff that is gestured vaguely towards Whiskey, "You keep saying that as if you expect us not to. Especially /now/..."

V doesn't answer her complaint at all. He's demonstrated that he's pretty good at video games already! Instead, he just carries on into the dungeon with Att.

Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Yeah, but it sure would be nice if it could solve one or two," Att replies, giving the staff the suspicious side-eye.

Att stops, looking down at Whiskey's pathetic frazzledness. "Have you slept... at all? Ever?" He scratches his head. "You can't just keep eating strange mushrooms for energy; the debuffs are going to catch up to you eventually." He feels a bit like he's telling someone to lay off the pizza rolls on account of chloresterol. "Anyway, here." A quick and casual salute to the Hero of Justice, and then: party invites, sent-o!

"We've got spiders and a reward." He points into the mine, then continues on towards it. "Probably leftover ore, too. Maybe I can make a sweet sword out of it later."
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     Shin laughs. "Setting things on fire doesn't seem like it's very fun, anyway. Then the fire gets all the work. And I don't *fully* get how this works, but don't we need to do the work to get the experience, or whatever? The fire doesn't need to level up."


     "Does it?" He ventures curiously as he accepts the invite.
Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"You know, you should ask Proteus sometime," Att suggests. He idly rearranges his AR UI's positioning as the party fills out. "She might get a kick out of trying to find out."
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Huh? Slept?" Att's question was the last, but Whis responds to it first.

"No, not since the ringing sound. Worried I'll wake up different." She waves off the concern of the Hero of Justice Shin Heno, getting back up to her feet with the help of her sign -- which is revealed to be largely 'her staff' with a bit of hanging twine tied around a shop sign on a gnarl of the crook of the branch. "It's fine. I'm controlling my heart rate with the mushrooms, and the side effects of the mushrooms with antidote."

A beat. "I control the side effects of the antidote with healing magic."

She smiles weakly. "I'm fine. MP regenerates, remember?" As if that excuses anything.

As everyone is partying up, V asks a question about Whis' catchphrase.

"What? When you party with someone, it's normal to say 'please take care of me', isn't it? I, a mid-line support class, have to rely on everyone else to handle their roles."

Flashback to her Heat Move-ing a rat by lifting it over her head, spinning it on its snout, and driving it into the earth.

She tilts her head and offers another weak smile. "Let's find Att's future sword!" She pumps a fist, and heads down into the mine.


The room must've been a guard room, or a break room. With the arrangement of chairs, the sad state of the victuals, and the overwhelming oppressive <dog>-smell of the area, it's been co-opted as the den of this particular breed of Dire Least Dark Hound 1 through 8.

Oh no! An encounter for 3-5 of levels 2 through 6? The horror!
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Spiders are cute," Count V says, "but the ones around here are always too... /big/. And their reflexes are... well, they're pretty fierce. If you drop something near one that is 'the right size', they'll usually go for it on reflex."

Angling his staff towards Shin to offer the impression he's looking at him, V replies, "An effect that you use ultimately killing the enemy will net you XP regardless of how long it took to do it... unless that's changed since the situation itself turned into /this/."

He responds to Whiskey, "Firstly-- we /do/ have a guild house, it's safe to sleep in. I've done it enough to be able to vouch for that much, at least. Secondly, I... suppose."

Scratching his head with the wings on his staff, he admits, "I usually just said, 'Hello! Do you want to party?', in the middle of the wilderness, and didn't say much else afterwards unless things started going badly. These days..."

"It requires a different approach, I think." Count V says, attempting to maneuver around the ~~orcs~~ DOGS by simply keeping them at a distance with his staff and skirting around.

"We really--" He grunts as he makes his attempt at passing, "We really should do some clean-up on that place, though."

Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     'I'm controlling my heart rate with mushrooms, the side-effects of mushrooms with antidotes, and the side-effects of antidotes with healing magic.'

     "None of that sounds-"


     Wait. She probably knows the game a lot better than he does. Maybe there's something to that.

     Shin glazes right past the 'I'm afraid I'll wake up different', of course. Waking up different is what gave him the power. Technically. Probably.

     "So wait, what's your role?" Shin asks on the way down, "What does mid-line support actually mean? Does that mean you support from the middle of the party?"

     He scratches his cheek thoughtfully. "Or does that mean you're middle-of-the-line support, and there's high support and low support classes, or..."

     "Ahhhh, this game stuff is complex, huh?"

     They emerge into the room full of Angry Dogs. Shin stumbles backwards in surprise. "Wow, this quest had combat even faster than the last one I was on!"

     As the dogs come forward, Shin takes his stance. Legs slightly spread, both hands in front of him. His left arm goes across his chest. His right arm goes up to seven o'clock.


     His right hand snaps across the stone belt as his left hand goes up to his face.

                        0 01 0
                      1 /----\ 0
                     0 /      \ 0
   ARMOR BEETLE    ====|  /\  |====  CODE: ALGOL
DEFENSE OF DESTINY ====|  \/  |====    COMPILE
                     0 \      / 1
                      1 \----/ 1
                        0 10 0

     The belt sings, and the constellation of Perseus shines around Shin, the red star of Algol where the belt should be. When the light dies, he's already running forward, red scarf flowing behind him, his foot smashing into one of the hounds hard enough to just blow it to pieces.

     Glowing red eyes look back over his shoulder. He doesn't really have to pretend here. "I agree. Let's clean up."

     He clearly does not mean 'with a broom and shit.'
Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Att makes a noise roughly analogous to a Marge Noise at Whis' response to his question. "I suppose. I've slept, too, though, and it's fine." He frowns into the distance instead of at anyone in particular. His voice drops a tiny bit. "But I always expect to wake up to a more familiar ceiling."

Tromp, tromp, tromp, into the tunnel they go. Att nudges webs aside with his staff. "I'm more into the classics." He cups his mouth with one hand. "'Level ninety Dee-Pee-Ess Em-Em El-Eff-Gee for farm, Pee-Ess-Tee!' You know, like that." They move out into the room, and Att stops, giving the dogs a quick Inspect and confirming they're Party-scale, but low-level enemies. He lowers his center, passing his staff into his left hand and reaching his right to that side of his body.

Att jumps forward, dashing up to a dog and intercepting its lunge with his staff. He levers it into the air with the same motion, then smoothly draws his sword with an accompanying flash of white light like an after-image. A red line appears across the dog's body, and it explodes into shards above him. He turns to the next, staff in one hand and long blade in the other.

"He means the guildhall, I think," Att tells Shin, "but points for appropriate drama. Maybe we should hire a Maid or two to do it for the XP?"
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Oh, that's simple. Front line is all of the people who actually want to draw attention. Mid-line are people who *can* take attention, but don't *want* to, and make sure things stay good with the front and back lines."

She points at Count V. "And the back line doesn't want to be paid attention to at all, so they can focus on turning enemies into loot."

With the party order explained, Whis raises a finger. "Also, I'm more worn out from bad parties. I've been awake for so long I've lost count of the days! Honestly, I hope people figure this out before it goes on too much longer, I really don't want the final boss to tell me: 'Ha! Fool! You were replaced with a data double! I've replaced your heart with a synthetic one that I control! Now, fight your former friends!' or something. Wouldn't that be the worst? Anyway, I took the liberty of observing-" She means spying. "-the guild hall, and no, I can sleep on a bench in the System Protected town whenever I want."

Her voice drops to a dull mutter. "Wouldn't be the first time I've slept on a bench."

<DOG> rolls for initiative! <1d20+7 . . . 19!>
The dogs eyes light up red, as the Dire Least Hounds start unleashing a powerful BARK as a Minor action.

... But everyone makes their saves.

Then the <DOG> start to charge the party, Shin at the fore -- but his radiant transformation knocks them prone, because martial artists can do that in systems that aren't written by people mad that an American game company decided to modernize their rules system from the 80's, you know, Cool Stuff.

Count V and Att both lay about the stunned dogs with many Attacks of Opportunity until all that is left is the corpses of a bunch of Least Hounds.

Whis, for her part, just sort of stands at the door. "Oh. I forgot a step. Sorry, next room, next room. You were all being so cool!"
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     From the room full of hounds to the descending tunnels. The shadows grow long as the mine's dilapidated support structure becomes more and more evident, lanterns flickering with the last bits of oil, torches mysteriously still lit but falling to pieces. The shadows dance on the wall as they go down, down, down, down into the depths, into the deep, deep earth. This is where things that ought not be go, where only madmen venture, where dwarves dig to find only regret and fortress-ending sorrow.

     The waves lap against the end of the shaft. It's an underground lake. Great fish that look equal parts animal and monster swim beneath the gentle current, visible only in the baremost glints of the dying light. The water is wide and deep, an abyss ready to drink in the unwary and the foolish. And who knows what lurks in the depths the light does not touch? Who knows what's waiting below?

     'Algol' clicks his belt three times. A line of blue light goes down from the belt to his feet. He starts walking across the water, an icy footbridge crumbling behind him.
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"I am /also/ familiar with the 'didn't catch the last train' special," Count V says, "though I confess that I am more likely to seek a capsule hotel in those circumstances. If it makes you feel better to remain awake, then I see no reason to do a great deal of hassling about it. Even so..."

"'I might not wake up' is a perfectly reasonable fear even outside of this situation. I don't think it changed it all that much. And after a while... after a while, a good long sleep is just worth it." He says, murmuring a healing spell to sparkle around Whiskey and get those DOG WOUNDS mending.

In answer to the water challenge, Count V raises his staff in a quick motion and commands, "Separate!"

The water is pushed to either side of the passage, parting around V as he goes. Somebody else can probably slip in with him if they need to, though it'll be rough, and he'll end up running awkwardly to get out of the collapsing path behind him.

Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

On the other end of the waterlogged passage is... nothing. Conspiciously nothing. It carries on for a little ways and stops. There are still supports suggesting that this area of the mine was in fact constructed intentionally, and no evidence that any /additional/ construction was pending.

Spider webs hang from the corners, seemingly recently disturbed. There is no obvious exit besides the way you came, and yet... there wouldn't be spider webs at all if there wasn't prey to be found, would there? There are some strange stones scattered about, whose shapes are a little too peculiar to be totally coincidental.

But how might they be used?

Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Alright, so maybe we've got to, like, clear the overgrowth and install some furniture," Att hedges, "but at least *that* we can do. I'm a Craftsman, I can knock out some improvements to the Guildhall so it's a bit more, um... usable. But it's still a roof over your head and allies at your figurative back, right? And hey, in some of the worse parts, it's like camping! Except indoors! Mostly." Att's optimism is forced but present. It counts!

Once they're out of initiative, he begins the deeper descent. Att summons what looks like a tiny fire elemental sitting in a floating lantern, shedding pleasant light around them. It's got a '-_-' face, possibly out of sleepiness, and lazily hovers in his vicinity. "That sounds like the plot to something," he eventually mutters. "Not a good something, necessarily. I don't really want an artificial data-heart."

They get down to the water. Att looks in, frowning at it. He shrugs and, without further ado, hops into the water after V. The problem is, he actually trips over one of the fish flopping on the bottom... and ends up flat on his face when the water caves back in.


Att is now standing in the middle of an empty room, soaking wet. He's drying his hands over the lantern, which is unharmed and still floating. "There's nothing in here," he grumbles.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

This one, actally, is new for Whiskey. A flooded passage! Practically giddy, if only for the state of bone-deep exhaustion she seems to be in, the 'Heretic' wanders along in Count V's path, and then halfway through the passage just stops. And waits.

When the spell ends, and the water crashes into her, she looks really, really normal.

If really tired.

In the passage, there's a purple glow, and then after a moment, Whis pulls herself out of the passage, backstroking a lap across the width of the room before crawling onto the surface.

She seems refreshed! "Love water segments. Swimming is the best." She breathes, leaving herself dripping wet, her hair falling in waves down her back as her hood scrunches around the back of her neck. "Probably the best thing about VR games. Got even better after the apocalypse."

The second they enter the next room, she holds up a hand and lifts her staff.

"Wait. I remember this puzzle from the pirate cove. It's the same rocks! Which means..."

Whis points at a slightly off-looking section of wall. "Masked Ranger Algol, please just break that wall. I'm not doing another rock puzzle."
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     "Unfortunately, I'm useless there." 'Algol' even has a reverberating voice in bug form. That's either some attention to detail, some belt, or some kind of voice trick, that's for sure. "I apparently can make Accessories and Enchant things. I don't know what either of those things do." His voice may be more confident, but without other people around - in the company of JUST Plant Duck - he's either not trying as hard, or he's just comfortable enough to let down the Algol mask a little.

     'Algol' looks back at V. The glowing red bug-eye effect is probably more than a little unnerving, big bulbous lenses shining in the dark mine. "A good rest is worth it," he agrees.

     There's the sense that he has nothing interesting to add and no actual idea if sleeping has an in-game benefit, and he's just been acting totally naturally the whole time.

     Whis straight up asks him to break the wall.

     He stares at her for a moment.

     Then his bug foot just *smashes* through the wall. Kaboom.

     "I can't fault the direct approach."
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Ah! I'm a Craftsman too, so please be sure to include me in your architectural endeavors, Att. And I wasn't /criticizing/ the problems with the place. If I had a place like that in real life--" Count V issues a deliberately dreamy and over-emotive sigh before finishing on an equally gloomy note, "-- I still wouldn't have time to make good use of it. My point is, I enjoy our home-away-from-home. It just needs some work."

"Of course, since we're in a role playing game like this one..." Count V offers a sly smile, "we really must assemble a truly magnificent bath house for it, sometime."

Returning to the more serious topic, he says, "If you can't tell the difference, then is it a difference to begin with?"

As they reach the dead end, and Whiskey Sour begins to cast something-- Count V points his staff at her and says something in an oddly demonic-sounding voice. His eyes turn pitch black, as do Whiskey's, and--

And she gets a buff to her Divination.

When Algol looks towards him, Count V just smiles back cheerily, the blackness of his eyes receding back to their usual golden-yellow. He remarks, "That really is an excellent set of... cosmetics? Equipment? Accessories, by the way, are a sort of secondary equipment set. Everyone can equip most of it, and it tends to add to things in little ways that add up. Enchanting is about modifying the properties of something existing."

"So you might, for instance, add fire to a sword-- for a little while, or for longer." He finishes explaining, just before the wall bearing the lock comes down.

Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     "You mean the belt?" 'Algol' asks V at the 'excellent set of cosmetics.' "It's something only a Hero of Justice can have."

     "It was mine after the chime."

     That explains it. That's sure a 'toku-hero-got-picked-by-destiny' kind of thing.

     "So I can make things that alter the properties of existing items and players." 'Algol's hand goes to the red scarf around its neck. The Armor Beetle-man is probably touching his chin. "That seems like it would come in handy. Are there limits to how many accessories could be equipped? How many enchantments could be used?"
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"I'll sleep when I fall over, because then I can't take the pills that make me not need to sleep."

Count V casts a mild heal on her, and she gives him an exhausted smile of an odd character. It's not the weariness of the body that tugs and flattens the emotional show. It's the threadbare genuine-ness of it.

"I'm fine. MP isn't free in a quest - I can take care of myself. But..."

She bows. "I appreciate it."

Shin obliterates walls! Nice!

"I really didn't want to mess around with another lock without all the heroic ninjas. This is much faster."
Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Att is giving Whiskey a somewhat concerned look behind her back while she gets healed. He's managed to wring most of the water out of his clothes in the interim. He doesn't pile any judgment on top of her, though. Eventually, she'll hit a limit. Having a good guild means having people nearby who you can trust to catch you when you fall.

KA-BOOM!! The wall crumbles dramatically! The fragments pile, and most of the incidental bits of rubble break like, well, a breaking item would: iridescent shards like polygons suddenly de-rezzing and coming apart. The room beyond is actually a tunnel with a worked stone floor, stretching onward towards the next leg of their journey. Spider-webs are at first an irritation, as Att finds when he moves through with the little elemental-in-a-lamp, but then an obstruction. He goes to cut a web with his sword, and mutters, "That's a lot of tiny spiders. Eugh."


Att looks down. More spiders.

His eyes trail upwards.

Thousands of tiny red eyes look back.

The entire world narrows to one panicked sprint to the far side of the room.
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     Indeed, this is an uncomfortable amount of spiders.

     The advancing wall of spiders, however, is no match for Masked Ranger power. 'Algol' leans backwards, pressing down on his belt three times. The jewel begins to whir. Wind whirls around his feet, buffeting the spiders away.

     Wait, he's not going to-

     "CODE: Cyclone!"

     He is.

     'Algol' jumps forward as if he's going to kick something. He does not, of course - there's nothing there - but he lands amidst the spiders, skidding along the path, knocking them aside with the wind around his feet. He slides over to the other side of the room and just kind of...looks, at Att.

     "Are you alright?"
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"MP isn't free in a Quest," Count V says, to Whiskey, "but the consequences of death are still mysterious, and you are expressing existential concerns. I prefer to play on the safe side, for now. We can get back to bleeding edge micromanagement when we're powerful again."

One, single spider falls in V's hair, and he stops dead in his tracks.

                            "Fierce undaunted grip,                            
                     Branches stripped from twisted limbs,                      
                             Not a leaf is spared."                            

Once again a dreadful gale of a shield springs up around Count V's body, hurling anything remotely nearby away from him. Spiders are snatched from the floor, walls, ceiling, and mid-air and hurled away with hurricane-force winds that Most Assuredly make them go splat against the walls.

Flicking the One Spider in his hair into the shield, Count V meanders down the hallway at his own leisurely pace.

Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ


Whis rummages around in her pack with some cheer as the spiders tumble across her head, one latching onto her brow. She's ready, this time, she's--

"Oh. I'm all out of both death goo *and* spider bait."

She sadly transfers the spider on her brow to the ground gently with her finger, raises her staff, and aims the 'eye' of her staff by adjusting her thumb.

Sunlight coalesces into a ball at the top of her staff, casting noontime shadows in the middle of the mine, before a barrage of rays starts spearing *through* the threatening arachnids.

"I really need to refill."
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     Whis blows the spiders apart with sunlight blasts, searing them out of existence. They shrivel up as they burn until they're nothing but piles of dust. V's shield and 'Algol's wind drive away those that don't crumble. Att has a relatively spider-free pathway to the other side.

     The other side is not pleasant. The other side has Arathrog.

     The party enters its lair.

     Arathrog's room can *only* be called a lair. Discarded husks of unwary miners lie scattered about the room, drained dry of their fluids. Hanging threads bulge with sacs ready to burst. The nightmarish skittering of smaller, but still large, spiders just out of sight echoes as they disappear behind pillars in a manner reminiscent of the real world.

     There is no floor.

     There is only web.

     The spider itself is massive. It is easily twice, perhaps thrice, the size of a man, its legs long and segmented and twitching in the way only a spider can. It only advances, slowly, purposefully. Eight wicked green eyes blink hideously at the party. Their faces are reflected in its bulbousness, mirrored by hunger and hate. Its mandibles rub together gleefully before dislodging blasts of acid into the air. Massive legs leap forward across the web, bouncing it up and down, aiming to knock the adventurers to the ground below, where they cannot fight, only struggle as the shadows below emerge to consume them.
Shin Heno
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

     The spider advances.

     'Algol' runs in to meet it.

     There's no hesitation, no pause. The Armor Beetle-man just charges forward, running along the webs without hesitation. Perhaps Armor Beetles and Dire Tarantulas are natural enemies. Perhaps 'Algol' is just that kind of lunatic. Either way, he charges in swinging, fists hammering against the spider's body. When the spider tries to bite him, he grabs its mandibles and flips on top of it, dragging its head backwards. His foot smashes against the back of its exoskeleton.

     The spider starts charging towards the party, attempting to dislodge the insane Masked Ranger on its back.
Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Att is not untouched by the spiders, but the searing light and gale-force winds keep most of them out of his hair in a very literal fashion. The furious ferocious flying farachnids don't chew him too badly, and by the time he gets to the end of the room, he drops into a roll that looks more like a 'stop, drop and roll' kind of maneuver instead of something more dignified. He pulls himself to his feet, staggers a step, and gasps, "I /hate/ tiny spiders! Augh!"

Deep breath. Calm. "Okay. Well. We haven't seen any big -" Att looks down again. He just sighs the sigh of the defeated, and looks further up.

The moment the enormous spider starts advancing, Att has his staff up. 'Algol' leaps into the fray, and Att takes the opportunity to draw a red glowing line in the air in front of him. "Spirit of the forge, unleash your fury and repel my foe! Flame Wall!"

The lantern bobs into place lethargically -- and then explodes into an expanding ring of fierce flame, a vertical spread that leaves a mirror-image of the web between himself and Arathrog, made of filaments of napalm rather than silk!
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

"Usually there are limits, yes. But I think we might need to test them thoroughly after everything that's happened." Count V says to Algol, gesturing into the surroundings airily as he does so, "Back in the day, you got slots for all sorts of things, and items could usually only hold one enchantment. There were a lot of exceptions to that, though."

The next step that Count V takes puts him on web flooring. He fans out to one side instantly, seeming to expect what's coming next-- his air shield is dispersed by a blast of acidic, which mitigates it but doesn't stop him from taking a decent amount of damage. His HP is surprisingly high for a support-oriented character.

"Flame Wall, going out! Far!" V calls out. Which is to say, he's putting down a Flame Wall and intends to position it the farthest out. He expects the others to call their own positioning.

                                "Burn them all,                                
                                burn everything                                
                       Fire is bright and fire is clean."                      

Count V executes the chant surprisingly quickly, evading the uncomfortable 'waves' in the webbing as he does so and sweeping his staff in a broad, horizontal line. A line of gleaming orange springs into being atop the rear half of the spider, erupting shortly thereafter into -- you guessed it -- a FLAME WALL.

Combined with Att's, it creates an O with a slash through it.

Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ


No, wait.

"Hehehe..." Is the maddened, almost unhinged laughter of Whis as she hears two calls for Flame Wall. The light dies in her staff as she pulls up, rotating the length in her hand until her thumb is lined up with the head, sighting down her extended staff like one would sight the barrel of a rifle.

"For Masked Ranger Algol, featuring V, we'll need a team finisher, right? It can't be helped."

Angling her staff incrementally, she lays down a THIRD Flame Wall across the O-ring of napalm, this one another 'slash' through the sphere of magmatic flame.

It forms an O... With a V inside.

"The V -- Is for Vulcanize!" She laughs.

The spider will probably get kicked by a Ranger, and then explode. Such is the way of crossover movies.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

And with the power of RANGER KICK, FEATURING V, AKA Hurricane Kick and Flame Wall Comma Three Times, the disgusting power of ARATHROG THE DIRE TARANTULA is defeated...

Largely by the whole gosh darned arena lighting on fire. Oops! When you do fire damage to a square of webbing, it is Destroyed!

Dropping all two feet into the room reveals it was, in fact, a 30x30 Regulation Underground Boss Room with a unique texture that the Party burned away. There's bits and leavings and 'sheddings', gleaming chitin-dark in the embers of firelight.

Maybe useful? It certainly glows like loot!
Att Syne
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

The victory fanfare plays! Good work, team!

Att drops the several feet to the floor. He sheathes his sword for the first time in a while, looking around at the arena. He shouldn't have really expected much from such a low-level area. "That was great. Let's try that more often, huh?" Att may just be an arsonist. It might just be a thing. Who knows who lurks behind the headset...??

He scoops a chunk of chitin, turning it over in his hands. "This'll do. Not exactly weapon material, but hey."
Count V
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

Count V wishes he could get an overhead shot and a video of this. Unfortunately, that's just not possible. Instead he simply looks smugly satisfied, leaning against his staff and resting his hand against his chin as he surveys Whiskey Sour. But his smug satisfaction is disrupted by a two-foot drop, which doesn't /really/ seem to perturb him all that much.

It is because his wings do function a /little/ bit. They flutter pleasantly, causing him to fall at a comfortable, drifty float that isn't remotely jarring to the legs.

V scoops some of the GLOWING ITEM up with his staff, tucking it away without offering it too terribly much attention. He issues a pleased sigh, and says, "Well done, well done. And a nice usage of /my/ name, Whis. Perhaps we can form more letters with it later..."

"Tho the cooldown is a bit troubling for that..." He admits, quietly.

"I'm all for using triple Flame Wall while Masked Ranger Algol wrestles a giant monster. Though I feel like..." Count V raises his left index finger pointedly, "A solid kick is more his style?"

Whiskey Sour
Alne - Plant Hwyaden HQ

'Perhaps we can form more letters of it later' gets a weird look, but otherwise, Whis seems proud of her work, up through the web burning and her tumbling to her hands and knees. She rises, dusting herself off, and collects some loot.

"Shooting Star Catastrophe, maybe. Since he's the evil star, Algol. Or maybe Evil Star Obliteration? Devastation Diver, Ranger Kick?"

Whis shrugs. "Ugh, now we have to climb out and the entrance is so high up!"

It's true. The final challenge of the dungeon is a drop that's uncomfortably deep so you have to look like an idiot climbing out. Truly, the damage is permanent.