Duty Session 327: Still Tide Pirate Lair
Through the efforts of many Adventurers, the home base of the infamous pirates that have plagued the waters around Yamato has finally been tracked down. Initial scouting reports tell that the Pirate Lair is largely run by humanoid monsters of all sorts, relishing in the spoils of their plunder.
As a known Monster Nest, the Hunters Guild is looking for brave souls who would be willing to help clear out some of the monsters in hopes that it will start to diminish some of the pirate activity that comes from the location.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: Reduction in pirate activity in Yamato.
Having found out that the Still Water Pirates had a lair, let alone that it was classified as a Monster Nest had Giganpor's attention at least. Those guys were serious annoyances for what he was planning to do in the long run, and well... really some of them were just weird. Like finding that bar whenever they were first found in the middle of camp. What the hell?
So, Giganpor had sent out the call through chimlinks, word of mouth, and the usual ways. There was nothing really expected, and the bad part? It was a freaking Monster Nest. Was that mentioned? Yes, it was. So, that had lead to the group meeting up on the cliffside thanks to Hunters Guild information. Water crashes below against the jutting rocks. Somewhere down there is a hidden cavern with the Pirates' lair.
Giganpor himself had come armed, ready, and getting things together that he thought might be somewhat needed. Well, not really. He was in his armor, had his tool belt, and had his poleaxe. Was even in human form. And just peering over the edge a good bit.
Good enough for Vertina. Seeing as they aren't getting past Floor 10 for a while she's going back to hitting various Duties to continue training and improving herself. To be ready for next time. So the salamander martial artist is along to join the merry little group.
Giganpor is given one brief wary look, but then it's forgotten about. Despite her hotheadedness Vertina isn't one to hold a grudge needlessly long. That and there's more important things to look forward too. Like how many pirates she can smack around.
Or if there's any rum.
Somewhat annoyed at the recent events surrounding a glitched-out Samurai boss, Fukaziroh nonetheless is relatively pleased at the outcome - nobody seriously harmed and her own contribution not wholly useless - and happy to engage in more showing off. That is to say, more adventure among powerful adventurers. The call going out to take on a nest of pirates catches her eye. Why not?
When the group arrives, Fuka also peers out over the edge. No fear of heights, apparently, even for such a shortie. "I could probably scout, or do support." she smirks, hefting a rather large axe that suggests neither scouting nor support. "Or I could sing us on to victory?" she suggests, breaking into a little humming sing-song tune. After a bit of humming, she actually adds lyrics. Something slightly off-colour about bird pirates flocking around and getting plucked.
She too now starts cracki9ng jokes about booty and her's being better than the Pirtes...
That seems to not too terribly offend the Guild official offering her the quest, so with a put-upon sigh, the young Spriggan heads out to join the party already gathering.
"Oh, the year was twenty-ten-and-three, how I wish I was in Shibuya now / When a letter of marque came from Alne tree, to a band of fools down by the sea // Gods damn them all, I was told / We'd have some fun and get pirate gold / We'd face no guns, shed no tears... / Now I'm a spriggan lost on Alne pier, the last sane Adventurer Privateer!"
She flashes a grin at Gwen, admitting that "It's quite nice, but I'm taken, m'dear." A nod to Giganpor, and then she turns to Fuka. "Don't think we've met, friend. Miyako Blacklily, musician, lore-seeker, and general lunatic, at your service."
Well, no more! Now that the Hunter's Guild has a lead on the location of their secret pirate cove, Prophylaxis has wasted no time in getting in on the first ship (figuratively) to deal with the problem. The only questions on his mind are...
"...Pirates spawn out of a monster nest? Pirates count as /monsters?/ I thought they were just Landers with a really unfortunate occupation...!"
With the party gathered, Giganpor looks over at the two offering to scout, "Not today. This is a lot more dangerous. Apparently this is a Monster Nest, so keep together as best as you can. And watch your backs."
Making their way down the path, the group sees scraped rock and things definitely having been moved along this path. The direct route looks to go down to the caves themselves. Something seems off, however. Something has to be hidden here. A keen eye or some sort of sense into the beyond might find it, however. Or it's another pirate trick. Who can tell?
Giganpor himself looks around carefully as they go. "I'm not seeing anything as of yet. Keep at the ready, everyone, and no going off alone." He states.
"Well now, isn't that amusing," she says, pushing one outcropping inward. When nothing happens, she adds, "There's probably more than one key... keep looking."
Miyako immediately gets her attention upon introduction. General lunatic AND a musician?! Fuka's new friend! "I *love* music!" she says. Which is something you couldn't necessarily tell from her earlier singing. Not that she was bad at it, mind you. Just that she shows somewhat more enthusiasm than skill.
It's not all cheer and flirt however. Sure she's lighthearted but when it comes time to act, she's more than just a social butterfly. Ignore her Sylph wings. Or rather in this case, don't ignore them! While the group is searching for signs of pirates, she takes to the air, using a spell to launch herself upwards. She can't stay up for more than a few seconds, but the shift in perspective is enough to give her something of an edge in searching. "Oh hey, this looks promising!" she notes, not sure if she's seen anything particularly useful, but helping to direct the group's attention in what should be a helpful manner.
So it's time to look elsewhere. Or more accurately, in other ways. She stands back upright, closes her eyes and murmurs a focusing cantrip to use her Divination ability to try and peer at the spiritual side of the world.
Finally she opens her eyes again, and points with one hand. "Over that way. There's the astral residue of many living bodies being together recently."
"Careful," he says, instead, tapping his staff against some of the slick stones, "Don't want anyone slipping and cutting anything open on this stuff."
No, she finds nothing.
she also thinks to Miyako "I could have some work for a musician."
Gwen meanwhile keeps inspecting the rocks. "I think I found something here."
Fortunately the group manages to find some very cleverly hidden buttons and switches while the oblivious ones are talking. The tunnels going down from the path smell of sea brine and there's a feeling of mist in the air. Water flows off, splitting and forking along the way. There's subtle signs along the rock ledges. Disturbed dirt, places that something scratched into the rocket. And there's always following the water as well. It's hard to not get lost it seems.
Giganpor frowns as he looks at the tunnels, "Be careful of your footing, everyone. I'm willing to bet it's slipppery as gods know what down there. And no guarantee we can get each other out."
Instead all she can offer as an unhelpful "He's right about it being slippery."
"I did warn you," he sighs toward Vertina, offering the beleaguered brewer a hand up out of her predicament. "Come along. You aren't licked quite yet."
With that in mind she'll take a second to cast several water-based spells. To help herself and maybe if she's lucky some of the rest of the party. She laughs at Fuka. "YARR missy we be sending them to Davy Jones before all is said and done!"
She turns to look at Gwen and grins. "Davy's going to eat hearty tonight."
The humming totally doesn't help.Yeah no, really, Fukajiroh seems to be enjoying herself but isn't helping much, not this time. Totally not her thing.
After the tunnel, and a lot of water magic from those that can use it to make it that far, picking up people who slipped, and generally finding out water covered tunnels are rather hazardous to everyone's health, the group makes it through to the end of the river. The place obviously has to fill with the tides from looking at the walls. And those with keen ears would hear it first.
A sweet song of some sort. A trio in varying states of dress, varying genders is the source of it. Each singing alluring tones to try to draw everyone in. Past them is the main encampment, too. Far in the distance. The sirens are definitely trying to pull them off the main path.
Giganpor growls a bit. "Why is it always some sort of music thing with this game?" He says out loud, looking at the others, "Don't listen! And don't get close unless you can fight underwater!"
And with that, Fukaziroh breaks into an entirely lewd yet inspiring song, almost perfect for the purposes of helping her companions fight fiercely! And possibly embarrass them at the same time, depending on their natures.
"What the..." Vertina stares for a long moment. "Did they take some singers as slaves?", she asks. Then darts forward with her usual bravado. "Then we'll just have to save them!"
Of course once she gets close enough one of the siren's shifts into their more hideous form and tears into her with its claws!... And that visage dissolves in a glimmer of light sparkles as the real Vertina quickly back pedals away from the would be attacker. "Dammit, they somehow saw through my mirror mirage." Probably sonar or something.
Prophylaxis frowns at the monsters in the distance, his expression turning both thoughtful and resigned, as if he had somehow determined that this, too, was some aspect of fate playing tricks on him. "Stay back," the doctor whispers, lifting... something to the party's flickering light. Clutched in a steel-shod grasp is a strange, glowing blue sac, like the pupa of some kind of bioluminescent insect, or a similarly radiant nodule of a vast mycellum network. "And hold your breaths." With a flick of his wrist, he sends the globe hurtling, grenade-like, into the midst of the singing fish-women. It bursts on contact with the ground, releasing a cloud of aggressive blue-grey... spores. Spores which seek the warmth of fishy gills and throats to nestle into and take root.
It must be a strange sensation, drowning, when you happen to be part fish. Regardless, at least one of the sirens quickly finds her song being interrupted by coughing, hacking fits and the undeniable feeling of being choked.
Blinding light forms up from the ground enough to blind the Sirens and hopefully disrupt their singing.
"You are all AMATURE MISTRESS!"
She yells at the monsters. A nice side bonus for her friend they will get healing from teh glowing portions of the ground...
Then she starts to notice the singing. She pauses, looking from one to another of her comrades, but none of them seems to be - oh, there it is. An island full of singing cuties! She grins. "Don't worry, folks, we'll have you out of here in no time," she promises as she closes on them, hips and head swaying in time to the music.
"Let's go, c'mon," she says, starting to look for chains and whatnot to release the singers... until a claw rips through her side! "Gah!" she says, jumping back, then snarls at them as she gets to her feet. "Fine! Stay there! See if I care!"
Giganpor, meanwhile, starts to hurl throwing axes he pulls from his inventory at the sirens. Mostly the male one(s) while the female he gets too close to. Some of the group get away fine, but a lot of them lose hit points to fangs, claws, and possible near-drowning.
It takes a bit of effort, and some people diving in, but they eventually get past the sirens and to the pirate encampment.
Unfortunately it seems the pirate encampment, despite the path nearly being lost to the water at this time of day, is also one that has some strange ritualistic look to it. The group has to traverse the slick stones to get across, and sometimes avoid falling into the waters themselves before they make it.
The problem is all that time? They get spotted. A single Sahuagin, a fish-like being, emerges and spots them first. A warbling cry goes up that speeds them along. By the time they are at least not on the slick stones, a virtual mob of the Sahuagin have arrived from every seeming corner they could. The huts, the waters around them. Everywhere. The group is most assuredly surrounded.
Giganpor looks around, then at the others, "Well, I was getting tired of all the exploring anyways. Shall we?" He hefts his pole axe.
About that time the Sahuagin advance. Some throwing spears, some advancing with them.
Not that it reachs the ground, as Vertina gives the ball sized bundle of earth and fire a hard kick!
The Sahuagin promptly scatter in multiple directions to avoid the hurtling projectile. "Fish out of water should not be able to move that fast!"
As it is, she leaps into the fray with a look of absolute concentration, leaping up to nearly head height on the closest and delivering a flying roundhouse kick that, if she'd done that to a person, would have almost certainly snapped their neck. Sadly, all it does to the Sahuagin is lower it's HP, bit it does lower it by a nice amount, and her follow up strikes, kicks and punches that look viscious and would certainly be fight-enders in real life here smash her targets relentlessly until they vanish into pixels.
Though Fuka's singing was pretty good, it wasn't enough for the group to simply breeze through the challenge. There was quite the struggle, wounds taken and given. They made it through eventually but it took considerable effort and resources. Still, it isn't long before the young Sylph is bouncing along again, humming the refrain from her earlier totally inappropriate song to herself as she goes.
The good mood remains as the group approaches the Sahuagin encampment. The pirates, one would presume, or at least some of them. "Hmmmm. Something smells fishy!" Fuka catcalls. Okay they can't all be golden insults. Still, chortling to herself, Fukaziroh wades in against the foes, flailing about with her axe with some proficiency and more enthusiasm, not to mention more pure muscle than seems reasonable for such a small fairy-type. Someone definitely bought a lot more strength stat than agility.
Did you also know that water-type monsters are weak to electric attacks!?
Sure, the challenge reads 'earth,' but what is lightning really but a bolt of plasma that connects the sky and the ground? Electricity is therefore at least partly earth-related, which is absolutely the excuse Prophylaxis uses when he finds himself face to face with a whole host of fishmen.
The tide begins to churn violently as the sahagin break themselves on the wall of warriors and tanks. Prophylaxis hangs back, chanting a spell as the wind howls all around him. High above, the clouds turn dark and begin to boil ominously. Behind the party, the sea crashes with roaring white-caps and rocks with waves that can sweep a fully grown grunty off its feet. A bolt of lightning crashes down just as the magus lifts his staff high...
...And is swiftly followed by a dozen more blinding blasts of electricity, each one slamming into a different Sahagin and filling the air with the distinct scent of flash-fried fish.
"YOU UNHOLY FISH SPAWN I WILL END YOUR MISSBEGOTTON KIND!"
Worse she's shifted into a full Texan drawl at this point.
During all the commotion, Giganpor brings up his poleaxe and flips it to the hammer side. "RIDDLE OF STEEL!" There's a small boom as he strikes the earth immediately outside of the group. And a sudden screech from Sahuagin as many get impaled, tossed back into the water, or otherwise get decimated.
Next to the other's efforts it's enough for one of the smarter ones to take off running towards the stone circle with an oddly blue fire torch in hand. One torch is alight before anyone notices it. Then another, and more.
A massive head with gnashing teeth and writhing tentacles emerges from the water nearby as the ground rumbles.
Giganpor calls out, "That's not me!" As he holds his poleaxe ready, looking around.
Then Sea Lord, as an inspect shows, rises up from the depths. It's monstrous tentacles grasping with surprisingly strength as it starts to lash out at the Adventurers that have dare disturbed it's minion's home. It's obviously not mindless, too, and the worst part? It's got to be one of the leaders of the Pirates!
And then a mighty tentacled beast slithers up from the dark seas. Panting for breath, the sylph takes stock of the fight, both their side and the enemy. She shrugs. "You know, I always figured one thing about going into a fight with a huge axe." she says nonchalantly. "It's that people will always try to fight you at range!"
Fuka grins wickedly, takes one hand off her greataxe, and points. "FiiiiyaaaaaahBAAAALLL!"
Until one slaps into her, sending her crashing into a wall on the opposite side of the chamber. "... Ow..." There is most definitely a lizard girl shaped indent in the wall behind her.
"Tentacles. Why'd it have to be tentacles?" Ok, her Indiana Jones impression is not all that great. But hey, she's not Harrison Ford, so there. "I -hate- Tentacles."
The runes she's been scribing coalesce into a ball of shadows in her hand, that seems to twist and swirl unnaturally. She hauls back and hurls it with all her strength at the monster...
... and she stands there watching as the explosion of darkness does pretty much frak-all nothing to the critter. "Right," she mutters, starting another spell. "Make us work for it."
Time for music. "And we're - banned from Alne every one / Banned from Alne just for havin' a little fun / We had a great vacation there, for just three days or four / But Alne doesn't want us anymore!"
Yup it brought help all right she stares for a moment then is charing in at it readying a magical sword art.
Her blade is enveloped by both and she then follows it up with a combo light and lightning attack on the boss.
"YOU ARE GOING TO BE BATTERED!"
Gwen does not like fishmen at all or anything that works with them.
It lunges, the water surging around them, lashing the land with malice and harmful intent as though the creature was wielding them as an extension of its own will.
Well, Prophylaxis has tanks to deal with that. For his part, the doctor hangs back...
And swings forth with that strange gauntlet again. This time, a tendril of his own snakes out, wire-like, from the wrist. It bends at odd and unnatural angles, striking into the Sea Lord's midsection with a syringe full of a strange, dark red fluid.
At first, nothing seems to happen.
...And then the fishman begins... bleeding. Wounds begin to simply open up all over its body, and every strike from the party seems to overflow with spilt blood. "Please finish it off," Prophylaxis asks as he withdraws his tendril. "The faster, the better."
The battle is fierce. Even Giganpor spewing fireballs from his shield time and time again seems to do nothing to the massive water monster. It's obvious that this is going to be an actual near-raid. And only seven of them at that. Everything from massive tentacle slams to sucking them into a vortex of water-based damage is used on the party. Even those tentacles prove to be more dangerous as they spin like a helicopter a few times. The Sahuagin even stick around and continue to be just as dangerous. Spears stabbing from around the ritual circle that the party ends up forced into for the fight.
By the time they get it to half-health, the entire party is weary, and the monster proves it's intelligence.
It gives the retreat cry with a burble. The Sahuagin retreat with it into the water.
It's not dead. Far from it.
Only driven back. The Hunter's Guild will undoubtedly want to know of this.
And then there is the blue flame's source. Some sort of strange ash. At least they are not going back empty handed!
Giganpor, breathing heavy and leaning on his pole axe, with a lot of health gone, looks around, "Status! And I advise we get the hell out of here before they think of coming back!"
After she collects a bit of ash, out of alchemical curiousity.
Of course the digital slashmarks fade just like every other wound, leaving Fuka's outfit perfectly intact. Her missing health bar section will recover too, as will her mana, both with time. She's going to be just fine, of course. But being dramatic is FUN! "RUINED I say!" she says melodramatically. "I'll need a makeover for certain." she sighs.
Eventually, however, the monster retreats, and the mission is not exactly all that successful. "Great Thraggling Voot!" she snaps as it sinks beneath the water. "And don't come back!" She sighs and collapses to sit on a convenient boulder, head hanging low as she rests. "Great. Thraggling. Voot." she repeats, sighing. "And Fuka, don't worry, we can go shopping later, I'll get my girlfriend and we'll make a trip of it. There's some good shops in Alne."
The creature retreats into the sea just as all hope might have seemed lost. The doctor looks over the party with a slight grimace, before reaching into his inventory and producing a whole host of healing potions. "On the house this time," he says, genially. They're probably safe to drink.
"Still, it looks like we weren't able to locate the Monster Nest's heart this time," he muses, peering into the murky deep. "...I suppose it might be hidden somewhere else in the cove. Or maybe even underwater...?"
"Alive, lets get going I'll make us something nice to eat once we get out!"