Field Quest: The Misty Ruins
<< A new notice is on the quest boards. >>
I am looking for three adventurers who like to go with me on a little expedition. There has been a rumor of a place that appears when the mist is heavy and vanishes as the mist leaves the land.
I don't know what we may find there, if anything, but be ready for anything.
<< Directions are given with the note. >>
(( This will operate somewhat like a +duty, as such I can only have 3 people with me, so first come, first serve. You will require cards, but not a deck. If the dungeon is successful; As you can fail; Rewards will be given out by staff discretion. ))
Sitting on a fallen log is Xander keeping a camp fire burning brightly, by tossing in a few dry pieces of kindle from time to time. He seems to be waiting for those to gather at this point before venturing what will be further in...
The witch pushes her glasses up on her nose, "It's nice that some dungeons only appear at certain times. I just wish it didn't always seem to be at stupid o'clock in the morning. Some of us need our beauty sleep." She tugs the tip of her pointed hat down over her eyes a bit.
The black mage certainly isn't dressed for camping, though she is at least covered by a thicker jacket which is laced across her chest.
"So, a hidden place that only appears in the mists. Seems like there is a time limit to the quest, lest we are trapped in the mists forever! How I do like a good horror story mixed in with our adventures. Though I hope we are ready for such an adventure.."
After all, we don't want to be in what happens when those are caught in the horror story and don't leave. This is what goes unsaid, after all...he's trying to motivate, not frighten. "So what treasure is here that you are after today, Xander?"
As Shaskur neared the campfire she slowed as she continued to sneak. Pausing a way off as she saw other figures approach and mill around the fire. Three individuals, their features were mostly obscured through the mists, but it seemed the entire party already arrived.
Standing up strand and walking the last of the way until she was in the light Shaskur raises her hand in greeting to the others, "Yo." Often not much one for words, she does give ULP and Xander pointed nods. She moves around to near where Xander is sitting and inspects the new imp arrival. Kita was her name, and the tag showed she was in one of those SEA guilds. Shaskur liked her outfit though, "Yo. I'm Shaskur." She again says to Kita directly this time as introduction.
Though he looks over to ULP as the man shows up, "Well hello again, ULP! What's up my man?" He then goes to stand up and gives the fellow a respectful bow. "And that is about the gist of it. A dungeon that appears a specific time, in the mist, and we probably need to clear it before the mist," He wiggles his fingers to the sides, "Fades away." He even tries to do the whole ghostly voice thing.
"However, I am not sure how much of a horror show it will be, so don't get you hopes up to high!" Though Xander turns his attention to Shaskur, "Hey Shaskur, how you been?"
Xander then looks back over to ULP, "What we are after is... hard to say. I've heard rumors, but only that. We could find treasure, we could find danger. It is hard to know what we may get into."
As she rises back to her full height, the girl with the strange electric blue and white hair glances to U.L.P. "I'm not the most experienced of adventurers, but I'll just stay out of melee range and blast things with fire if they get too close." She smirks, the expression lifting her lips with amusement.
She flicks her fingers again across the menus, a book with arcane runes appearing and dropping into one hand. This must be her 'weapon', by the look of it. "Well, if we're on a tight schedule, we should get moving, right? As much as I love your company, Xander, I'd rather not have to camp out here for another night."
Shakur dips her head in a slight bow to Kita at the more formal introduction, and then nods as Kita mentions they are on an unknown timeline if they only have until the mists dissipate. Hopping up and starting to move away from the fire she reluctantly releases her cloak and a single arming dagger appears in one of her hands.
She then turns back to Xander, "Uh, I think you may have to lead the way, Xander." And she moves back so she is near to him, ready to follow.
Xander explains a little, and U.L.P. nods towards the man. "I suppose we'll have to deal with fewer PKers this time around. That will be fun because PVPing is so dull. Oh, that DOES remind me.." he says looking towards the others.
"An admirer? I'd be careful. If you want someone to check up on them...to make sure they are legit, you just need but ask," he says interrupting himself to interject towards Shaskur. "Anything, the thing I wanted to ask. Do any of you have any hobbies beyond being gamers? Poetry, music, art? That sort of thing? Culture related is important to an idea I have."
Those draconic eyes look over to ULP, "... Hobbies? Is Staying alive and finding a way out for those who want to /get/ out a hobby? Cause if it is, that is mine." Then he begins to lead the team into the forest and toward their destination...
Field Duty: Introduction
The early morning rays of sun have barely peeked over the mountain hill that the forest stands upon.The cold mist rises from the ocean and the fog crawls across the forest floor. Deeper in the forest one has to go before they find the entrance to the mysterious ruins that only come with the fog is thick and light is just right.
The vortex spins with electrical charge on its edge, creating a portal to those very ruins that can almost be seen beyond. The ruins beyond look like that of white stone and marble. Once a great kingdom perhaps, though the base of the stone is slowly being turned to black, along with the very white stone floor, as dark thorns of ivy crawl across the structures, seem to choke out any life from the white pure ruins.
Standing outside the Vortex is an old man, a Lander by the looks of it. A hood hides his face, while the robe only gives way to his frail, wrinkled old hands. His voice has a rasp to it as he speaks, "Those that dare enter here, will be seen as one. The challenges ahead will test your skills for the treasure beyond. No one knows what lies ahead, but challenge you will, but be warned! Failure three you must not obtain, or the treasure will not be so grand. Look to the ghost and hope for success, for only those may ask a request. This is all I can say, no more, no less. Good luck Adventurers, and may you not find rest."
After the old man says those words, he lowers his head and seems to suddenly vanish, becoming part of the mist, with only the swirling vortex now in front of them.
At his quip, she smirks, "My bed is kept warm by a hot red-head. So you can understand why I'd rather be there than sleeping on the cold hard ground. Besides, you snore. Like a chainsaw." She might be joking. Then again, she might not be.
"A problem admirer?" She asks of Shaskur, looking briefly curious. "You look like enough of a bad-ass that I wouldn't want to get on your bad side." As for U.L.P.'s question, she answers, "I'm an artist and a musician by trade. I've been mostly working with the Lost Adventurer Network. Keeps me busy." Which might explain why she doesn't have as much time for adventuring.
As they approach the ruins, the black mage seems quiet, taking in the sight. When the Lander begins to talk, she listens, reaching for a pencil to jot down a few notes in the margins of her spellbook. When he vanishes, though, she sighs, tapping the pencil to her nose. "Well, that was creepy. Ghost maybe? I was too busy listening to run an INSPECT."
Shaskur turns to ULP, "They.. are a bit hard to check up on. Trust me, I'm working on it." She pauses a moment as she thinks, "I don't think I'm at risk. It's more like.. a game?" She shrugs, "What's the worst that could happen? If they kill me I respawn, and I can always call for help over the chimlink. Thanks for the offer though, if I need help I will let you know." Shaskur's eyes twinkle in delight at Kita's comment, "Strangely, this whole" She waves her hand around searching for a word, "Issue, I guess. It is helping me practice of sorts, so it kind of works out."
Then raising an eyebrow at ULP, "I like the culture and lore of the Landers. I also draw a bit for fun. What is this project about?" and then to Kita, "Oh, you're the one drawing those people? They are pretty good. You're able to do those just off how someone describes them?"
As they continue through the forest they come to some ruins. Surprised at the old man's riddle Shaskur watches as he vanishes, and begins to look around at the surrounding mist suspiciously. "I didn't get a chance to inspect him either, but anything that can turn into mist isn't a normal Lander. Might be a mob."
THANKFULLY, Kita answers him in a positive way, and he nods. "Ah, so you are the artist responsible for the pictures. I would be hardpressed to get you for what I am looking to do, but if you find yourself with not as much to do.."
To Shaskur, he nods with a thoughtful look. "The project, actually, is one focused on trying to establish a culture of our own here in this world. It might seem pointless to some, BUT...there are a lot of adventurers here who hide and refuse to engage. Many more who think they should do something, and are used as nothing but cannon fodder by some guilds.."
"BUT...think of this. Music, art...a piece of our culture transported here into the world so that we can establish something of a status quo. Who knows how long we'll be here, or if we'll ever leave. At the very least, we can make the world more comfortable, instead of relying on game mechanics or sword law."
To the Lander that appears, another blank face from U.L.P. happens, slowly tilting his head. "Wow, the writers for this quest were...rushed. None of that even rhymes all that well. I swear, it's not /that/ difficult! Ugh..." he says, apparently having an issue with the quest text.
"Maybe it's procedurally generated? Still, don't fail and get a good treasure. I am assuming the 'no rest refers to don't die'. Though...was he the ghost? Hmmm..." it doesn't hurt to try. U.L.P. does the pray emote towards where the lander was. Hey, can't hurt...
The Salamander then snorts softly, "Lucky lady and your lucky red-head." He muses, "I would love someone for one night to wake up next too." He frowns a little, "... Gets lonely at times."
Xander then looks over to Shaskur, "As for that admirer issue, I could always just stab him before he stabs you. I don't mind being flagged red for a few days. Rather keep a friend safe, than see some jerk cause them trouble."
As for the school though...
"No clue!" Xander adds to the whole teaching Landers, "That is what I am going to find out. The game has been changing. Monsters are getting smarter. May as well see what the NPCs can do. Could be more useful if they can be taught."
Xander then looks over to ULP, "Smart? Me? Nah. I'm just a sack of potatoes and several marbles short of a full stack!" He grins a bit, "But seriously, I have no hobbies. Life made sure of that." His tone sounding far to serious on that last part to be a joke.
He does listen to what ULP has to say about the hobbies and why he asking. While Xander does listen, he doesn't really add anything to the conversation. Though a slightly lowering of brows may say that he is perhaps not in full agreement.
Once the group does arrive, Xander listens to what the lander has to say. He tilts his head gently, his thick tail flicks softly. "Yeah... and something about Failure three. Guessing don't fail more than three times. Though what is that all about a ghost?"
"... also so weird for an NPC to just.. vanish." Xander sighs softly, "Probably coded that way given this is a timed event..." Then mumbles the next part, "... or whatever these end up being." Xander walks up to the portal and looks it over, he extends his scaled hand toward it, watching the electrical surge dance across his scales harmlessly. "... Interesting."
Sadly ULPs attempt to bring back the old man brings nothing back. Just them, the portal, and the heavy fog.
The blue-haired Imp seems to take in U.L.P.'s project with a look of interest showing on her features. "I have some downtime here and there. Here, I'll shoot you my contact. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." She uses the menu to toss out a friend request, and then adds Shaskur to the list as well, because why not?
As for Xander, Kita just rolls her eyes but resists commenting on his lack of love life. Instead, she focuses on the NPC and the riddle offered. "I think not dying is a good idea." Glancing at the others, she flips a few pages in her spellbook. "So, onward?" As Xander begins to play with the portal, she gives him a nice, playful shove from behind. "Go on, Lizard-breath. You're the tank, you should take point anyways." And then she'll follow.
She looks over to try catch ULP's eye, "And lay off Xander. Don't insult and bash people's goals." She glares at ULP. It only lasts for a moment as Kita then pushes Xander through the portal, and she turns to see what happens.
"As for the 'beauty' of this place, while it is a fun game...or rather, now our home and some might even consider it our prison. However, are you saying that those who don't want to be here, and don't have the skills to thrive here as we do have no value? That they are without value?"
"The status quo is for them. Where they can be safe, and where they can continue to contribute while the rest of us solve the problems. Or should they live in constant fear, hiding away from dying...or the PKers? And what of the PKers? Should they not be given an alternative? Most could simply be in their positions because they are afraid of sword law, and fall in with who is...or who they perceive as stronger."
"Besides, when has humanity ever NOT push their desires on the world? We have shaped our environments for thousands of years, we have formed this place, and why should we not also bring civilization here as well?"
"As for my words towards Xander, as you can see he took what I said as it was intended, as a jest. He needs not your defense, as he seems fully capable of doing it himself...though it is quite obvious to anyone who isn't Xander of certain feelings being expressed," U.L.P. says with a bit of a playful tone now.
To Xander, he laughs a little but notices the look. "You do not agree? By all means...your opinion is something I would like to hear," Perhaps because he wants to find a way to counter it in the future, or now...
Then Kita pushes Xander. He laughs, but steps in after Xander, while talking to the mage. "I am glad to see your interest. I will definitely contact you soon." Kita gets his member address in return.
"I'd rather not. I'm a soldier. Not an artisan. I kill things. Plain and simple." He looks back to the portal. "I let the egg heads worry about the details." His tone was distant as he spoke. "And thank you, Shaskur, but yeah. He has a point. I didn't take it to seriously. I'm use to dealing as much as wheeling, but still," He smiles to her, "Thank you." Though as Kita brings up 'You're the tank' with the shove, he barks at a playful, but somewhat serious, "Hey!"
Though the push gets him close enough that he is pulled through the vortex, along with the others who go near...
Field Duty: Challenge 1 - Forgotten Soul
Once they enter the vortex, they can feel themselves almost being connected by an unseen chain. Though it restricts no movements, it's hard to know what it is for. The path ahead is that of ruins of old buildings made of white stone and emerald. Gorgeous in creation, but time doesn't seem to be kind as those dark vines have creeped up their walls, and a 'sickness' seems to disease the stone turning the very bottom that was once white, slowly into a deathly black.
It seems where those vines grow, so does the stone slowly change. As they move further in the fog slowly starts to clear, till an opening gives way to a large platform with seven statues. All look like warriors, but their faces are missing; Or perhaps fallen off. Their base has a gold ring, but like everything here, that dark 'sickness' seems to slowly taking hold of these statues, twisting parts of them into almost a monstrous shape.
Behind one of the statues, a ghostly spirit seems to weep. Her cries echo, but once she sees you all, her phantom eyes go wide and she moves to hide behind another of the statues, "You shouldn't be here!" She says with a soft, but echoing voice. "You should go back and never return!" What can be seen about her reveals that she was once an enchanting woman. Twenties perhaps in age, with long flowing hair and gorgeous dress that is now torn to shreds; Perhaps by what killed her. "Leave! Please!" She calls out once more, staying behind the leg of one of the statues, only peering out slightly at the group.
<> Try to calm her - Etiquette vs 6
<> Lure her out by song - Song vs 6
<> Forget the ghost; Find the path - Searching vs 8
<><> Only One Success Required
"Did you feel that?" She doesn't quite know how to describe the feeling that passes over when they reach the inside of the ruins. "It's like some kind of sickness is trying to take over here. And normally I'm fine with dark magic."
The sight of the spirit has her looking curious. "The ghost?" The riddle had mentioned a ghost. "Easy... you have nothing to fear from us." As if to show this, she swipes her menu, exchanging the spell book for what appears to be a lute. The instrument has been artistically painted. She plucks her fingers, trying to emulate a lullaby, or some other sort of calming music.
So the harp of the musician comes to his hand as he strums a few notes.
"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..."
He starts the song, continuing to the second verse. Fingers working the harp as hard as he can, trying to soothe the pain in the hearts of the very dead themselves.
"And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..."
He stops, no need to do the ENTIRE song unless he gets a request for an encore. He looks towards where the ghost hid, waiting for her to come out relaxed and soothed. "So what happened?" he asks finally, curious as to her story if she were to give it. "It looks grisly."
"I heard that, by the way," he says towards Kita. "I feel very strongly about anything I do. If you are not willing to defend your views, anywhere and at any time...well..." he shrugs. "Besides, it's what I did before I came here. Argue."
As she stumbles into the ruins, she quickly draws a second dagger and begins to look around. Spotting the ghost that starts to speak she splits her attention as she continues to look around for any possible threats. She notes that there is no longer a portal to retreat through, they were stuck. "Uh, guys. The portal is gone." She lets the others know.
She makes notes that it feels like she is now connected to the others as well, it is a strange feeling. The others in the party appear to be focused on the ghost, so Shaskur continues to focus elsewhere on guard for approaching mobs.
When there is an opening later she comments to ULP, "It sounds like you have no hope for people's ability to adapt to new situations. And just because humanity bulldozes over other cultures in the past, doesn't make it a noble pursuit." She shakes her head, "People can adapt, we don't only have to destroy or try transform this place into some clone of earth."
Looking at the vines growing on the stone. The buildings that once were standing tall. "Interesting design if nothing else." Though when Shaskur brings up the portal is closed, he looks behind him. "Well, that is a problem." He rumbles, though unlike maybe the others, he is-- not to keen or at least doesn't bring to attention the chain that is linking them unseen.
When the ghost suddenly becomes seen and her words reach out. Xander extends out his hand. "Hey now," he says softly, "Easy... easy... We are not going to hurt you. None of us will." This was in time with Kita's musical melody and when ULP starts to sing, Xander takes a knee.
He waits a bit and sees what the ghost will do. Thankfully the specter slowly comes out from where she hides. Her feet barely touch the ground as she walks. The trail behind her, like she is walking on water almost. Her eyes watch as Shaskur looks and she speaks to her, "You... You may find an entrance over there," She motions to the Brambles. "But... Only the taint resides that way. I..I know a better way though! A safer way!"
The Ghost then places her hands slowly, gracefully in front of her. Her eyes turning to look to ULP. "I... I don't remember everything. The taint is slowly stripping our memories away, just as it is stripping away this place. Soon we will all be forgotten. Lost forever."
The female ghost then steps up towards them, but backs away a step. "That is why you must go, you," She then notices the portal is now gone and lowers her head in slight despair. "... but it seems you must go forward... in this place that is our prison..."
As the ghost seems to calm, Kita's fingers move away from the strings. Her fingers itch to play something that would not be appropriate to the situation, so she is quick to dismiss the instrument. "If you know a better way, then show us." Her voice takes on a softness, though her eyes still seem alert to their surroundings, as if she didn't quite trust this dark feeling within the ruins.
As the ghost talks about another way forward, Shaskur looks to the others. Kita expresses a need to focus, and Shaskur just nods to her. Talk can wait, it is time for action. While not yet moving from her position, she is ready to follow after this ghost if the others do.
"We shall agree to disagree," U.L.P. finally says, putting the conversation to rest (at least on his end) for now. After all, Kita was right there was a dungeon in front of them.
The ghost gets his attention, "What is this corruption? Is there a way to fight it back? ...But yes, typically there is only one way forward. Hindsight is twenty/twenty and all, but it's best to look forward."
She says as she moves towards two of the statues, she places her hands out to the side, as if channeling the very air itself. "I don't remember how the taint came to be. I think... There was a deal made... and the gods have now forsaken us. Maybe for power? Maybe... for something else? Perhaps just because of the darkness of our hearts."
The ghost looks back to them, though her eyes focus on ULP, "You... remind me of someone... I just don't remember who, but please.. Be careful. All of you." Then placing her hands together, it seems to bend the air, creating a path that was unseen. "Follow me, please. I can't travel with you all the way, but, I can at least make sure you stay on the proper path."
Then the ghost seems to lead the way.
Field Duty: Challenge 2 A - Three Elements
The path that the ghost has shown and even leads part of the way is through a garden of glowing blue ghostly flowers and those of emerald green, yet near the base these plants show they are dying as the vines only continue to get worse.
Once the next clearing is found, It is a room fully walled around, with a dome roof above showing the mystic, swirling sky above with streaks of lightning that seem to dance from point to point in the air. The stone walls have those dark, thorny vines running deep, nearly destroying the once white walls with their dark, black color that has flooded out from the thorn tips.
On three of the cardinal walls, there are runes that match both element in style and color. Water, Fire, and Air. Water to the left, Air to the right, and Fire dead center. There is no clues here to this puzzle or anywhere else to go.
<> Cast Fire - Fire vs 7
<> Cast Air - Air vs 7
<> Cast Water - Water vs 7
<><>All Three Challenges Must Succeed.
Following the ghost, the sight of the flowers being consumed seems to almost bring her a sort of sadness. The girl plucks a few flowers off of their stems, tucking them into the pages of her book to keep for later.
When they reach the room with the element markings, the black mage steps forward, running her fingers lightly over the rune for water. "We probably need to channel magic into these, somehow. That seems to be how a lot of these puzzle rooms are set up." Glancing over her shoulder, the Imp nods towards the one she is touching, "I can take water."
Her fingers move, tracing a circle over the rune. Where her fingers touch, a blue glow follows. Ice seems to form on her fingertips. Eventually, an entire circle is formed, lighting with magical energy. The air around her seems to chill, and Kita blows towards the rune, causing it to ignite with elemental water, her breath forming mist in the air.
"Ah yes...while we humans do good, hubris is just as a threat of ours as anything else. I dare say it is more dangerous than greed, for it is a desire usually born out of the desire to do good," he says, once they move on. "We all have desires to address things, hopefully, we know how to listen to others."
"Hmm...three runes. Different elements. I think we need to activate them with our elemental magic...I will use wind, as it is the element I am most familiar with," U.L.P. says, discounting physical. He holds his hand up, aiming to synch using his air magic to try and activate his rune with the others. In case it's a timed attack.
Continuing they come to a clearing, what at first glance seems to be a dead end. On each of the walls there are runes. The others seems to be interested and investigate, while Shaskur keeps overwatch. Scanning both the way they came and the sky with its shifting ominous clouds. Lightning cracks through the sky, providing bursts of illumination to the area, but so far the most dangerous thing appears to be whatever curse is eating this place.
The Salamander grunts at his own thoughts. His brows knitting a little, but keeps to himself. Once they arrive in the room, he looks around. Taking note of the runes and the sky above them. "You know, I'm glad I'm not scared of lightning, or this would suck."
Though as he turns to look at the others, his tail flicks gently behind him. He gives a nod to both Kita and ULP, "Agreed." He looks over to Shaskur, "Watch our backs alright?" The Salamander turns his focus to fire.
He inhales deeply and focuses. Runes form around his arms in the air, creating a circle, before he then draws his hands inward to grasp a ball of flaming energy and then blasts it for the rune.
All the runes take in the magical energy given to them and the lightning above seems to crackle, before it seems to stop just for a moment. Everything goes very quiet, even the air. "Do-- You think we did it?" Xander asks raising a brow.
Field Duty: Challenge 3 A - The Guardian
With the element runes successful lit, those standing in the structure will find their hair slowly standing up on end. There is an electrical charge building in the room and a low rumble can be heard. It wouldn't be too shortly would they see a lightning bolt from the sky suddenly blasting down to where they are with a flash of bright, brilliant light!
When they open their eyes or take a chance to see they are still alive, they will find themselves, in front of a massive castle like structure, that twisted by the many vines that have grown up its impressive structure. What was once a line of beautiful trees and bushes are decaying thanks to the thorns and dark ichor. Yet even still, a few leaves try to hold onto life, struggling against what little time they may have left.
At the entrance of the castle, is a feminine, stone gargoyle figure. Her shape is humanoid, with a tail curled hanging off the edge with a spade-like tip. Her claws dug into the archway entrance. Her face draconic, with what a mane of hair. Her wings are ever impressive as they sweep out with three ridges and two sets of wing tip claws. The vines have grown all around her form.
As they move closer, the gargoyles glow to life with blood-red, and her voice speaks to them with a gentle hiss in her words, "To pass my gaze, you must prove to me your worth, be it by strength of will or by strength of stone, matters not. For many have come, and more have failed." Followed by what seems to be a well placed lightning strike in the distance and a thundering boom.
<> Show Respect; Not Fear - Etiquette vs 6
<> Show Spirit; Not Cowardice - Physical vs 6
<> Show Faith; Not Selflessness - Light vs 6
<><> Everyone Must Pass
It is because he wins.
Just like now, he uses that courage forged with frugal care and thought into his actions to stare down something trying to intimidate him. Then, he pulls the harp, aiming to strum a song to inspire his allies. UNFORTUNATELY for him, the song does not seem to take off as well as his bravery.
"Ah shoot...spell fizzeled."
It seems they were no longer at a dead end, but rather the entrance to massive, and rather corrupted castle. The gargoyles seem to come to life with read glowing eyes, the aesthetic was decent with the lightning playing percussion in the background. Shaskur's eyes just glitter in amusement. After the events of the apocalypse, this seemed more like a typical dungeon scene. If anything she enjoyed the drama as she gazed up at the gargoyle, ready for a fight should it come to that.
The sight of the castle has her letting out a low whistle. For someone with an artistic eye, it has a sad sort of beauty to it, with the encroaching vines and the massive form of the stone gargoyle.
When the beast turns to them and gives that challenge, Kita simply stands straight, her spellbook held against her chest. "It's kind of hard to be intimidated by a topiary." The girl lifts her chin, her Imp tail flicking once along her ankles as she follows U.L.P.'s lead. That flash of lightning and boom of thunder only have her fingers twitching once on the cover of her spellbook. Nope, not scared. Not at all.
He crouches down, staying low, blinking a few times to recover his vision to find himself before a massive structure and a gargoyle who is challenge them. The Salamander slowly stands up. He watches ULP walk forward to challenge the Gargoyle and he does the same. It seems the others do as well, in their own way.
The gargoyle can not move, but it does growl lowly at them. Though when ULP's magic fizzles, she can't help but laugh a little. "You humor me bard. You may pass onward."
To Kita the gargoyle says lowly, "Oh hush, child. If I could move from this place, I'd claw you alive! ... However, you done your part, so I must do mine. You all may enter this doomed place." The thunder rolls again after her words.
Xander snorts gently and just walks toward the door. "Yeah, sure. A statue, being scary. Ooo! I'm shaking in my armored books." he mocks the statue.
The gargoyle only roars back, "Silence! Or I will kill you! Or-- would. Bah!"
Field Duty: Final Challenge - The Forgotten King
The door slowly opens to the group. The hall inside is pitch black dark, but as they walk torches along the wall start to light up as they go. Glowing with green flames of fire that give no warmth. The further in they go, an unnatural chill starts to set in. The dark spread covering more and more of the walls, even though no vines can be seen.
As they continue, they will find themselves entering a large throne room, for a moment a flicker of what was once a ball took place here. A grand ball with many nobles of different races, music, hauntingly fills the air. The female ghost from earlier shows up, giving them a gentle smile, before walking toward the throne room. "Father," she says softly, "Father. Please help them, they have traveled far. Help them," Then she starts to fade from view, just as the music. "... help them please."
As they move closer to the throne, they can see the cobwebs at last that hang from ceiling to throne. From pillar to torch. Dark ichor drops from these cobwebs onto the floor. The figure who sits in the throne is a heavily dark armored figure. The armor, like the black ichor, refusing to give way to any form of light.
Slowly, those armored clawed fingers grip the arm of the chair and just as slowly the armored helm of the dark knight rises up to look at the Adventurers. The eye holes of the helm light up with glowing blue light. The voice speaks and the room almost trembles with his rumbling voice. "You have come here before me? For what purpose? To die? To seek power?" The armored figure motions to them.
He then opens his hand as a blue flue ignites in the center of his palm. "... Take the fire from me. Show me you are worthy of my attention."
<> Capture the flame - Fire vs 9
<> Touch the fire - Magical vs 9
<> Extinguish the flame - Water vs 9
<><> Everyone Must Pass
The bard holds a hand to try and silence the flame with the frost shock spell. However, as the hand moves, there are a bit of the corruptive vines growing along with his hand. The spell is consumed by the corruption, causing the spriggan to look a bit shocked, surprised, and more than a little concerned.
"Oh, this bodes ill.."
The darkened hallways are creepy enough, but the way the lights respond as they move is eerie. What is revealed reminds her somewhat of the ballroom scene from the Haunted Mansion, complete with dancing ghosts spinning through the ballroom. Kita ends up having one dance right through her, causing a chill to run up her spine. Then, they all vanish.
The dark armored man... monster on his throne is met with uncertainty, Kita remaining just a step behind Xander in order to avoid direct physical conflict. "You want fire... I'll give you fire." She doesn't answer to the reason for them being here, instead she motions her fingers in the air, tracing another of those arcane circles. It appears on the ground in front of her.
What appears from it is a small creature, maybe about a foot long. A tiny red lizard flickers his tongue, then hops up from the ground, racing towards the king. The little creature scrambles upwards, moving towards the fire captured in the dark king's hand. It moves to take a big bite out of the fire, swallows, turns blue, then drops down to the ground, bleching tiny bits of blue flame.
And then they arrived at the ballroom, the recognizable form of the ghostly woman from before. Watches as she approaches the dark knightly figure and calls him father. She was a princess? Shaskur tilts her head, and what appears to be a boss, might help us? Scratching the back of her neck, she continues to watch the scene as the other ghosts slowly fade away and only a dark king with a magical flame in hand was left.
And then he issued a challenge! Shaskur, wondering if this was some kind of trap, but began to move all the same. If anything a trap would make it even more of a challenge! Muttering a few words under her breath she shoots forward in a blur, leaping off the ground to the side as she approaches the king, only to use one of the pillars to launch herself at him from the side. Perhaps he was distracted by Kita's summoning, or maybe it was the sheer speed of her buff, but she flashes by in front of the king, hand and held dagger both, passing through the flame without causing a scratch.
Having passed by she rolls along the ground and hops back with her momentum into a combat stance, ready if the king came after her. Eyes glittering she says "I will take a little extra power if you're offering."
That is when they enter the ball room and he watches the show before them. His eyes watching as people dance, before seeing the female ghost they saw earlier show up. He watches her go up to her-- Dad?! ".. Wait? What?!"
That is when he spots the massive dark figure and watches him slowly look upon them. As this 'King' speaks, he looks around the room as it shakes and he whispers to Kita, "... Maybe he is the source of the taint?"
Xander then hears what he has to say and calls upon his magic once more to bend the flame to his will and call it upon his hand, "Ta-da!"
The King observes this and then the blue Raptor who takes the flame, as he rumbling says, "Impressive." His eyes move over to Shaskur, watching what she does, "You are fearless. I admire this, girl."
Then it comes to ULP. The man of culture and mystery. The bard who has swooned the ghost and made it easy to this point. This point where the taint seems to have found him, crushing any point of success it would be seem, as the chain that binds them at last glowing in color. The dark vines attempting to take hold of it.
"You have failed my test!" The King rumbles as he goes to stand. His size reaching at least seven feet. "You are not--"
"Father!" The female ghost appears in front of ULP, "Please! Reconsider, they have come this far."
The 'daughter' seems to pause her father, as he stares at her, those glowing, flaming blue eyes look to her, then to ULP, then to her. "No." He says firmly. "Never again."
Though ULP failed to impress, the female ghost refuses and stands her ground, "Father! By the laws placed on us with this curse, you know the rules! Failure /three/!" She holds up three fingers. "They had not failed three, but only once. Have mercy on them." She goes down to her knees, "Please... Have mercy on them and fight the corruption that has taken your--" She doesn't finish though.
The king stands there, looking at them once more. He raises his hand slowly and snaps his massive fingers. The chains break in a shatter of blue light. "... Only by my daughters boon and... By the laws... You have succeeded." He goes to sit back down on his throne. His hand extends out and from blue flames between his throne and the Adventurer appears four chests linked together. "These are your rewards. Take them and begone from our sight. This place..." His voice changes slightly as he says, "This place is only for the cursed, not for the blessed. Now go-- before I change my mind." Then opens a vortex portal once more like the one they entered.
Field Duty: The End
Her posture remains defensive unsure if they are going to face the warth of this dark, tainted king. She nods once to Xander, but otherwise remains quiet. Her hands twitch, ready to prepare a defensive spell if needed.
Yet, then the father and daughter begin to argue. "I have a feeling we haven't even scratched the surface of this place." There may be treasure chests, but with the lingering taint remaining, it seems that there is more of a story to tell, here. Even so, Kita has no problem taking the reward and get the heck out of the strange level for now. There would be time to perhaps find out more information and return later.
The ghost of the princess seems to have taken a liking to ULP, and continues to entreat her father to stand down. The king pauses and looks out at the party, and then he does back down. It seems the princess has got through to the king. With a snap of the kings hand the ghostly chains break, and a moment afterwards a small chest appears right by her.
Ready to go on the offensive Shaskur glances back and forth from the chest to the King, wondering. After a moment, and an internal shrug, Shaskur scoops up the chest near her and dashes to jump through the portal.
He'll have to reexamine these thoughts and feelings later!
"Well, that was...a thing," he finally says. "There definitely feels like there is more here. Perhaps I'll have to comb over this place...there might be an extra duty here."
Moving for a chest...he opens it up.
Sadly opening the chest themselves right now seem to bring only a glow. They'll have to check back later and see if anything produces inside the mysterious light.