5304/P:WtWM - Coachmistress' Challenge

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P:WtWM - Coachmistress' Challenge
Date of Scene: 10 June 2017
Location: Alberichstadt <P:WTWM>
Synopsis: Plumbing in the Mirror Forest is not the best.
Cast of Characters: Janine Liberi, 999, Rebecca Chambers, 151, Sanary Rondel, 1102, August Kohler, Kotone Yamakawa

Janine Liberi has posed:
    It's been a while.

    Everyone is back in the forest, and confronted with the first issue of this little quest they've been given; where even is the Inky Lake? As it turns out though, they didn't have to worry. The White Pig is there, chowing down on some truffles with a goblet of inky black water beside him. A blue butterfly stands on its rim.

    Once he's done, he sniffs the water and begins trotting away from the clearing. Between the glassy trees and outside the view of wandering shadows they go, that butterfly fluttering behind, until they reach it.

    The Inky Lake.

    It certainly lives up to the name. The water is so black, it almost looks like a pit at first, until you see the slight ripples upon its surface. It occupies a large clearing in Forest, fed by a stream that flows downhill.

    Floating upon the water is a giant swan.

    It too, is inky black. So much so that it looks like a gap in the world. A gap with that elegant shape that swans are known for. But its beak is hard, chipped, and razor sharp. Even in the real world, swans are horrible monsters. God only knows how bad a Shadow version might be.

    And yet, it's not attacking. Its head does turn to look at the party as they arrive, so it knows they're there. But it seems content to float there.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    It's entirely likely that Emily brought an extra bribe with her for the White Pig, just in case.

    But as is usual, Emily is calm and collected, following in a state of steady, tranquil readiness the entire way... though she's keeping a /very/ careful watch over that blue butterfly, if anyone cares to keep track of her eyes. Things like that can be a danger just as much as they can a boon. The lake, though, is an interesting enough sight to keep her attention for a few moments, one eyebrow arched. "Wits about you, everyone. Swans aren't the nicest sorts even in real life, if there's those here who didn't know."

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
Rebecca's starting to get used to what goes on in this place, so she's a little less uneasy when she arrives. In fact, she's not even wearing her uniform, but instead a casual attire instead, almost like she's gotten used to just how different these things work as opposed to the way they work in the real world.

As Rebecca gets a look at the Inky Lake, she nods a little as if acknowledging how it most likely got its name, as well as looking at the butterfly... and the swan too. Granted, a black swan in general doesn't sound exactly like something one would want to meet, but in this place, it really makes her uneasy now.

"It seems to see us," Rebecca says, looking back at the dark colored bird. Her breathing slows a little bit as she says this. "Be ready for anything. I sure am." She stares back at the swan, trying not to give a hostile or violent look, but rather simply staring back at it.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley stands at the edge of the lake, staring at the swan. Her reptilian features are drooped into something of a frown. Her tail twitches with a feline energy, the feathered tuft on the end brushing at the ground. Her left hand rests on the hilt of the longsword hanging on her hip. Her brow twitches in its thoughtful way as her eyes take in the details around her, especially the way the water seems almost as dark as the swan itself.

    "What are you waiting for?" she seems to ask in its direction, grimly fascinated with the dangerous Shadow's patience.

    A soft pressure fills the air as she speaks an incomprehensible word made of pure magic. This magic collects in Ainsley's body, casting a soft blue glow like a corona around her, casting no real light but indicating the use of magic. The spell allows Ainsley to detect the emotional alignment of the being before her in the dim hopes that doing so will provide a tactical clue.

    "... ignorance to the uncertain and catastrophic..." she mumbles to herself, as the Shadow's form reminds her of something she read as a child.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary's there, too! She's dressed relatively normally for once, wearing her coat and not bothering with the uniform shenanigans, although she does have some sort of wide-brimmed hat on. It's not a cowboy hat, is it?

     It totally is a cowboy hat. Fitting, then, considering that there's a swan to wrangle.

     She's even got her weapon drawn while watching the swan cautiously.

     "So... What's the plan? We got any bait, or...?" She looks oddly on edge, too, compared to the calmer Emily and more measured Ainsley. A bad experience, perhaps?

Kotone Shiomi (1102) has posed:
Kotone Shiomi has come, quietly following along and enjoying the opportunity to let others make the calls this time. She's got her naginata and her evoker ready in case trouble crops up, and otherwise is enjoying the cover of a convenient nearby someone to stand behind, probably August.

August Kohler has posed:
As they stand at the lake, August is in a raincoat, with swim-clothes underneath. He's staring at the swan, also at the Pig who got led by a butterfly, which is weird, but eventually his gaze focuses on the swan. Over the radio, they discuss someone taking the first step in. August is hesitant, but eventually agrees to the idea he'll do it, and fully loses that hesistance when someone else offers because 'August is more important'. "Watch out if you don't want to get splashed."

With a step, August walks into the Inky Lake, closing his eyes and mouth. Good thing he brought clothes for this!

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
it has been a very long timesince Kotone was in the forest she was geared up and ready for trouble. she didn't thinkmuch about the body armor she wears anymore the machine gun is on her back and she's got hud goggles pushed up into her hair as she arrives shepauses looking at the shadow as it's not attacking? Kotone s wary as he looks between her friends and allies here andshe falls in with Ainsley for the moment acting so she could protect her superior in the Paladins.

"It's not attacking this ... is not normal..."

She also looks to Sanary and Shiomi a she arrives. She then ends up in an argument ove the comm about whose going in. not that she's being forced to do so, but whelp August is going in like sir Leeroy of Jenkins.

Janine Liberi has posed:
    The swan is totally tranquil, as Ainsley's magic would detect. Well... not totally traquil. There's a seed of worry in there. Something is bothering it. And that something is suddenly August as he steps onto the water. Yes, on. Because the Inky Lake is so viscuous that he doesn't immediately plunge into the water. Instead, it sloooowly sucks him in like quicksand. And his actions draws the black swan's attention.

    "MY LAKE!" it squawks, flapping its wings and fixing its beady eyes on the party. "You can't use it! Not unless you do me a favour and figure out why it's like this!" 'Do what comes naturally' Agatha had said. Of course, most assumed that that meant 'kill it.' But since it's talking, does it really mean that?...

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    Emily adjusts her glasses briefly, a faintly amused look on her face at August. Well, he's going right on down, so she'll just let him do that.

    "Good heavens, the swan talked," she remarks absently, when it does just that. While August is floundering about with the water, Emily takes a few graceful strides down towards the edge of the water, where she stops, arms folded behind her back. "Emily Branford, pleased to meet you. I wonder if you might tell us what's changed about your lake? And how long it's been?"

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
Almost immediately, Rebecca jumps a little at the sight (and sound) of the swan talking. It takes her a few moments to compose herself again. When she sees Emily approaching peacefully, Rebecca does the same as well. She keeps her hands in front of her to show she has no weapons or anything like that, nor does she intend any harm.

"I am Rebecca Chambers, it's a pleasure to meet you." She smiles pleasantly, but says little else, since Emily's already asked the question she wanted to ask.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley steps up to August and reaches out to grab him by the arm as he begins to sink into the liquid. She plants her feet in case it proves to be more like tar. And then she yanks back on him, and twists her body to try and pull him away from it and onto the shore. Once she's helped him out of the inky grip, she fixes her coat some and takes her place back at the edge of the lake. She looks over her shoulder and loudly announces to the others what she had found when she used her magic to analyze the Shadow.

    "It's docile," she tells them to confirm its words, "It's only worried about the lake. It doesn't want us trying to enter it... I think we should hear it out."

    She leaves the air otherwise open for the others to talk. They've already said the questions that immediately came to mind for her. In the absence of anything to say, she floats up off the ground and hovers over the lake's surface, peering into the dark to approach the Swan to get a closer look at it. She slowly floats along a bit at a time, inches above the lake.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary's grip tightens on the gunaxe as August steps into the lake, and she very nearly lunges forward when that swan starts squawking. It's only when she realizes that it's talking and not just being a swan at August that she finally relaxes... Slightly.

     She's not rushing in to smash it to bits, for one. "Er... S-Sanary. Was your lake easier to move in before or something?" She even straps the weapon to her back again, instead moving in to assist Ainsley in assisting August with additional BRUTE FORCE.

     And maybe a bit of healing if he gets a sprain or rug burn or something.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa watches August go into the goo and then the swan flips out about it's lake that it's not suposed to be like this? It's talking it's not fighting just yelling about it's laiek.

"Wait something's altered your home?! Mayube we can help... I'm Kotone Yamakawa. Can you tell us anything?"

She seems to be onboard with Ainsley on this.

August Kohler has posed:
As August steps in, he realizes he doesn't splash, and looks around, and at the others. And then he realizes that they're getting higher from them, and he's getting sunk in. "h-help meeee!" He shouts out to the others as he begins to get eaten by the Inky Lake, pulled out by the help of Ainsley and Sanary. His raincoat's covered in ink, and he shakes to get enough off that he can walk. "Christ. Thanks."

And then, he turns towards the Swan, narrowing his eyes. Well, a talking weirdo Shadow. Not the first one. He's just wondering what type of Shadow it is, as he speaks to it. "What, did this use to be clear water? Are we dealing with pollution? Is there an evil oil spill Shadow nearby or something?"

Janine Liberi has posed:
    "I don't know!" the swan says, swaying its head in distress in response to the queries. It also keeps one beady eye on Ainsley as she floats above the water. It's... certainly water thick with something else. "I've lived here as long as I could remember. But one day, the waters just became this murky blackness! I hoped it would clear up, but it never did!" It gestures its wing towards the stream that feeds the lake. "It started coming from up there."

    "I am Abyss Swan, a noble Shadow with a long history. Pleased to meet you," the swan says, inclining its head. "Please, if you can figure out what has happened to my lake, do so. I'll be forever grateful, and you can use its clear waters towards whatever goals you have."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley pauses over the surface of the lake, turning her head to follow where the Abyss Swan is gesturing. The name creates a look of obvious skepticism on the reptile woman's face. "You have a very ominous name," she comments to the Shadow, but with a 'what can you do' shrug, hands up past her shoulders, she turns and floats toward the stream that is filtering the ink into the lake. She pauses, though, to make sure she doesn't move on ahead of everyone else, or in case they aren't ready to go investigate the cause of this.

    "Not a typical jaunt into this colorful plane," she muses aloud.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    Emily makes a thoughtful sound, tapping her chin. "Then it sounds as if there's something up closer to the source. Time for a bit of walk, I should think. Would anyone like to join me?" And so the proper British woman goes for a proper British stroll.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary gives August a firm pat on the shoulder before following the swan's wing gesture to the stream. "It just... Became that way? Weird... You didn't see anyone coming by before that or anything?" The healer stretches her arms from side to side, a trouble grunt escaping her after a moment.

     "Or weird shapes falling in, or... I dunno. Noises before it happened?" She pauses to nudge the inky lake with her boot, then looks back over at the swan. "... Or the water tasting different now?"

     She's just throwing out whatever comes to mind, logic and sensibility be damned. She's still wary of getting too close to the swan, though, more than happy to just follow the edge of the lake instead of going through it and closer to the swan.

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
Nodding a little, Rebecca says, "We'll gladly help you in any way we can." The stream does, in fact, seem like a good place to start, and while Ms. Branford may be interested in taking a casual stroll, Rebecca's more about getting there quickly. She takes off in a bit of a jog, moving past Emily quickly with a polite, "Excuse me, please."

August Kohler has posed:
"Abyss Swan? Where did you get that name?" August inclines his head. That's an odd Shadow name. Doesn't have the weird titles of the Black Queen's Court, so that's safe, but what kind of name /is/ that? Either way, he shakes his head and moves up next to Emily, pulling a mirror from his side. He starts scraping the ink off it slowly with a shard of glass, so that it can actually be used.

There's a glance at Ainsley. "Colorful? We're in a pitch black forest of glass with odd lighting. What's dark to you, then?"

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa listens to Abyss Swarn and nods. "Sounds like a plan to me and it came from that stream then that's where we should go look. Thank you again it's nice to ... run into someone here whose willing to talk." She bows lsightlky to the swan and seems reayd to go check out the creek which feeds into the lake maybe there's something up there.

Janine Liberi has posed:
    "Good luck!" the swan calls as the party moves up the hill. A brisk stroll up along the stream it is! It's almost pleasant, if you manage to forget it's a stroll in a horrible mindscape with many things that could kill you without a second thought. It's almost like a group of friends out on a trip.

    Until the smell hits.

    It's utterly repugnant. Like the dead rat that got into the vents combined with open sewage, who then lay an egg which became rotten. Just a little longer before it becomes apparent as to what it is.

    They find the source of the spring. The water bubbles up from a cracked, veiny rock. There, it's pure. Literally glittering. But at the foot of it is... well, it's literally a pile of shit. Swan shit, if anyone is actually familiar with that.

    And then, speak of the devil, the Abyss Swan comes trotting up to the area.

    "How's it going? Have you figured it out yet?" it asks. As it squats over the pile and-


    -and now the smell is even worse.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    And there goes Rebecca, right on past Emily. She arches an eyebrow, then lets out a soft sigh, shaking her head. "Honestly. It's been like this for a very long time, a minute or two more won't make much difference. You should learn to enjoy the scenery more."

    ...she says as they come upon an absolutely rancid smell.

    Emily can only watch, silently, her face become a stony mask for several long moments. "My... my word. I'm not sure how to tell you this gently, but... I'm afraid the cause might be you." She deliberately avoids looking in August's direction. August, who stepped in the lake.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Heading up the hill with the rest of the group, Sanary doesn't seem particularly bothered by the smell getting worse and worse. Sure, she wrinkles her nose a bit, but it's just a shit smell.

     In some sort of weird collective mindscape, but still just shit smell. It's nothing this pig farmer hasn't smelled before!

     Hell, it's not even registering in her mind as something that should be out of place until the swan comes back and her allies become more... Animated about the discovery of the 'inky' lake's cause.

     If anything, she just starts laughing. "H-hey. Abyss Swan. You.. Uh. You know if this lake goes out to any kind of ocean or whatever? Or does it all just... Sit here?" She gestures at the pile, then coughs into her hand while trying not to break into laughter again.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley doesn't have high hopes for their little trek up to find the source of the spring. Her tone, though, is still as measured as usual. "It's a coping mechanism," she tells August, "I know this place is horrible. I'm actively focusing away from that so I can work here." By the time they get there, the lizard woman is...

    Actually, the smell doesn't seem to be bothering her at all. She is frowning a little more when they discover the reason and her mind puts two and two together before the swan shows up to give them a visual demonstration. The reptile woman lifts a hand and places it to the side of her face, and she grimaces because she is almost certain they might have to stab this creature by this point.

    "There is no ambiguity here," she tells the Swan, "You are the cause."

    Her eyes close and her hand stays on her face as she makes a visible attempt to maintain her composure. Yeah, this is incredibly absurd and gross even for a somewhat world-weary person to deal with.

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
"When there's a mission at hand," Rebecca replies, "Time is of the essence!" She continues to jog towards the stream, until finally she gets close enough for the smell to hit her nostrils...

And she literally gags and turns away for a moment before covering her nose and mouth with one hand. "What the hell? This stinks worse than... ugh!" Then the swan appears and then, Rebecca wishes she could unsee some things. At the same time, she's wishing she brought her gas mask with her.

August Kohler has posed:
As they arrive up to the source of the lake, August cringes. He double cringes when the Swan comes up and <CENSORED>s. And then he looks down at his outfit, back at the lake, and then back at himself, and begins stripping his raincoat off, throwing it into the pile of shit they'll probably need to incinerate. He moves to pull his pants off as well, to get to the swim trunks underneath. "I hate you. I hate you so much."

Once he's not wearing his soiled clothing, August looks up to the Abyss Swan. "So, here is the problem. You're spoiling your own water supply, and need to not do that. Go behind a tree or something. Or invent the toilet. Otherwise it's never going to stop."

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
August saved her from jumping into a giant lake full of occult shadow droppings. She just kinda stares at this for a moment she snaps down the visor for the moment ot hide the abject look of horror in her face and she may almost be looking a little doll like as Kotone has stopped /moving/. Augusy has the right to say what's going on, and he does it shockingly politely. Maybe they could bring a port a pot in or get them a better spot to take a dump upon...

Janine Liberi has posed:
    The Abyss Swan's beady eyes seem to narrow as all fingers point right at it as the cause. "You think this is my fault?! How dare you?! Why would I pollute my home?! This is where I've always gone, and it's fine! Look!" It begins pointing at trees around the pile. "That's the one with the cross-shaped notch, this one forks in two, and that one has a hollow! That's how I know this is where I go!"

    It turns on its webbed feet and starts to waddle off. "I suppose I'll forgive you if you fix this. But until then, don't even let me see you, or I might have to treat you as an enemy!" It's hard to stomp with a body structure like that, but Abyss Swan somehow succeeds.

August Kohler has posed:
Well. The Abyss Swan is certainly stubborn about this, and August clutches his mirror, frowning. Especially when it threatens to attack. He stares at it as it waddles away, and realizes they only have a matter of time before they might have to fight it. "Okay, so, are any of you good at lumberjacking? We need to destroy these trees and carve up some new ones in that pattern. Cross-shaped notch, one forked in two, and one with a hollow." August begins moving towards the trees, and then looks to see if there's any others nearby. "And we'll have to trash these ones."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "I'm not touching these glass trees. I have no way to alter them without showering myself in broken glass."

    Ainsley's input comes complete with her hands lifted up a little defensively. She turns to watch where the Swan went, frowning to herself because of its huffy, ignorant reaction to what they had said. She breathes a great big sigh, a hissy noise that makes her sound like a snake for the first time since anyone here has met her.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    There is, quite suddenly, an Emily in front of the swan. It's an open (ab)use of her talent for speed. "Now now, we'll not have that. You want us to solve this problem, and we're solving it. An answer isn't wrong simply because you don't like it." The butler hmphs. "The simple fact of the matter is, while it might have been 'fine' before, it's most certainly not now. Look, see? The water is fine on one side of your... pile, and on the other side, it's pitch black." She straightens her gloves absently. "I'm afraid you shall have to choose a new place to go, if you want the water in your lake to be pure again."

Sanary Rondel has posed:
That's certainly a conundrum. A swan that refuses to shit elsewhere, a lake already full of shit, and a massive pile of shit waiting to muck up the lake even further! Domesticated animals are easy enough to handle, but wilder ones like this are far beyond Sanary's skillset to handle.

     Luckily, August seems to have a plan to work around this issue already. The healer raises an eyebrow at the talk of lumberjacking, then tilts her head back at the gunaxe strapped to her back. "Used to chop trees up for firewood back home. Dunno how safe it'll be working with the trees out here, but... Eh, we'll see how it goes."

     Not like she has much of a better plan herself. Taking hold of the axe again, she follows August to the trees. She peers at the glass trees skeptically, then closes her eye before starting to chop at it!

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
Rebecca sighs angrily. "So the Shadow asking us to solve its problem is the reason for the problem?" She shakes her head and folds her arms. "I just don't believe it." But then she eases up a little. "There's got to be more than one solution though. After all, it was Jill who told me that her father used to--"

Rebecca trails off as she sees August and Sanary going for the glass trees, and her eyes widen. "You're going to chop those down?" Rebecca backs away slowly, then turns and runs a short distance, trying to get out of the way of a possible falling glass tree or flying glass shards. Neither of those will help the situation!

Janine Liberi has posed:
    "You utter fool! I'm not even going to acknowledge your ridiculous point! Instead, I'll just devour you!" Abyss Swan shrieks at Emily, before lunging! It's beak opens, revealing the rows upon rows of teeth inside that rotate like chainsaws. At the back of its gullet is total blackness, an emptiness befitting one with 'Abyss' in their name.

    Meanwhile, efforts are made to knock down one of the trees. Shards of glass fly with every cut, making this a pretty dangerous operation. Always remember to wear goggles kids! But finally, the cross-shaped notch tree is felled. That's the pattern destroyed! Now... to replicate it elsewhere.

    And of course, someone is going to have to muck out that pile of shit.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    And there's the lunge.

    You don't agitate a swan and get away with it; for this Shadow to manifest as a one, it's almost certainly got a similar temperament. That's why Emily's black glove is on her hand, and she's moving in the blink of an eye - this wasn't just expected, it's part of the plan. But she doesn't mean to /hurt/ it, oh no. Instead, she's suddenly around to its side, and Strands is quite abruptly snapping out to coil itself around the faux bird's feet. If she can snare it by the feet, her next plan is to get in and get a hand around its neck, just below the skull, so that she can hold it still. Pin it, really.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa looks at hte swan for a moment she nods for a moment okay it seems they have a plan. She does however as she looks at the goose for a moment then at the entire mess. To put it midly she looks back to August then back to the swan. She sighs and nods she has no way to alter the glass but she looks at August for a moment.

She'll help with the lumber jacking though she's made of synthics she can deal ith it better han otehrs az she moves to attempt to help with the the follow up pattern.

Or maybe, just maybe she could use her matter maiplator to collect up the shit and move it...wait that could be genius. She will trust the otehrs to finish with the marks as she gets the matter maniplator to start ... collecting the shit. She's pretty sure George and SEFT would be laughing at this plan. Though she's going to have to do several loads given she doesn't have one as powerful as the Starbounders do.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley frowns strongly when the Swan comes barreling toward Emily with the full intention of gobbling her up for offending it. She doesn't look ... startled, really, having expected this reaction the moment Emily started really speaking up toward it. As Emily moves like a well-oiled machine to restrain the Shadow, the hybrid reptile woman steps back and pulls the book hanging on her other hip up to her face. As she gazes into the eyes of her reflection, she shouts out a phrase.


    A burst of blue light emerges from behind her, a translucent figure appearing like an elderly anthropomorphic turtle man sitting cross-legged pulls the pipe from his mouth and opens one of his eyes, a red light shining from his eye and a sudden pulse of red light shines over the Abyss Swan, trying to hinder under the fog of negativity present in its mind. A debuff spell that only works because it can feel emotions at all.

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
With the instruction to deal with the glass trees given, Rebecca decides to join in on that. She doesn't have an axe, so she decides to go with her Beretta instead. She attempts to locate a tree that's out of the way of the others, so she can try to take it out with a few well placed gunshots. If it's not powerful enough, Rebecca could switch to her Magnum... but she wants to try using her Beretta first instead.

August Kohler has posed:
As Sanary takes down the first tree, August glances over to see how Emily's doing, before glancing into his mirror. "Persona!" The Tin Soldier appears, gun-leg at the ready, and the pair move to find a grouping of three trees away from the river source. Since it's a /forest/, when they eventually find some, the Tin Soldier points the gun up and starts spraying bullets, carving through the tree and making a weird and lopsided cross shape notch. A few more shots are used to make it look better, slightly like the other. "Alright, these next two are going to be harder. A fork and a hollow? I could use some help with those, especially the last one."

Sanary Rondel has posed:
With the shit-signaling tree removed, Sanary's work here is... Not quite done, but at least she's earned herself a brief respite. Good timing, too, considering that she's just finished smashing glass with a heavy object and needs to fix up all the cuts now.

     Thus, she's going to observe the rest of the crew for now while healing herself up. Between Emily handling the swan itself, Kotone doing... Some weird science shit to the weird mind bird shit, and Rebecca and August shooting trees to trick the weird mind bird into shitting somewhere else?

     It's a good opportunity to wonder how the hell she even got mixed up in all of this in the first place.

Janine Liberi has posed:
    In a sudden blur, the Abyss Swan has its legs entangles and its neck grappled. It wriggles violently, trying to buck Emily off until Ainsley assists with Urashima Taro. Immediately, it breaks down into sobs. "It's not fair... it's not my fault. Why is everything like this? It's not my fault..." It's voice gains an... oddly reverbing quality. Like many people are saying the same thing at the same time.

    Meanwhile, work is done to clear the pollutants. The moment they're clear, the water trickles down. From this vantage point, it's easy to see the lake starting to clear up the moment the fresh water hits the inky water. This is no ordinary stuff...

    Work is done to prepare a new place, a distance away from the stream. It's... not easy. But soon, something passable is created.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    Ainsley gets a deeply grateful look; while Emily might have been able to keep the thing suppressed - /barely/ - Ainsley makes it much, much easier to do, and thereby opens up an opportunity for something the butler hadn't expected to be able to do: talk.

    Her tone, after the harshness of before, becomes surprisingly gentle. "I'm sorry, dear, but I'm afraid it is. When you've made a mistake, you have to accept it. That's the first step to fixing it. People will respect you more if you take ownership of your mistakes, seek to fix them - but if you keep denying it, you'll never be able to solve the problem, and things will only get worse. We'll fix it for you this time, but we can't do it again." She's careful to keep the swan where it can watch everyone work. "You'll have to remember this, alright?"

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley walks up to the restrained Swan, the book placed back on her hip, hanging from a clip built into her belt. She listens to the echoes of some kind of human emotion personified. The Swan's nature becomes clear, the creature's emotional struggle making her sigh sadly.

    "Your actions have consequences. Someone must carry those consequences, and they will do it for you for a while, but sooner or later the dam breaks."

    "People like us won't always be around to clean up your mess. But don't worry... even others feel like you do, sometimes. Let me show you what I learned."

    Ainsley reaches out to rap her knuckles on the Swan's beak. She speaks a gentle word of magic, and that blue light shines from her body and onto the Swan. The weight of personal responsibility is emitted to the Swan, a direct flash of emotion from Ainsley's own heart.

    "If you learn from this, your lake will never be murky again, and you would never need anyone's help to keep it that way. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

    She pats the Swan on the beak and straightens up.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
If the swan wasn't a swan, Sanary would actually feel pretty bad about hearing it sobbing. Alas, it is a swan, and swans are assholes. This one just happens to be a more hyperactive one, and...

     Alright, fine, maybe she's feeling a /little/ sorry for it. Emily taking on that softer tone might have something to do with it. "Don't crap too close to where you sleep. It'll be a bit more work, yeah, but it'll be better in the long run."

     She pauses, then snickers to herself before rubbing her neck. "Anyway. I've seen plenty of people do that back home. Sure, it's easy, but then they roll over and... It ain't pretty. Understand?"

August Kohler has posed:
Once the 'bathroom' is set up, August desummons his Persona and regroup. He's sighing. "Man, I love how this just became a PSA. What I'm more interested in is...who are you and what is this lake? You said you're very old and noble. What did you /mean/ by that? I'm starting to get some impressions that you're not a normal Shadow."

Rebecca Chambers has posed:
At least once the 'bathroom' is set up, Rebecca can breathe a sigh of relief. Hopefully this means the lake will be clean again, and no more smelly stuff like before. Rebecca has little to say, though, instead just hoping the job at hand is done.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa is busy working with thepollutants she's going to have to disposes of her place with properly get rid of it, she has grim paperwork ahead of her to deal with this but it's worth it she's also hopefuly as ever one seems to finish up ith the prioject hopefully the Swan hasn't killed anyone /yet/.

Janine Liberi has posed:
    Everyone has some words of wisdom to offer the Abyssal Swan. But Shadows do not think like people. They are of people, of specific aspects of them. It is not so easy to change their nature. All you can do is redirect it.

    "I still don't know what you mean," it huffs. "How could my business contaminate the water. It's over there, well away from it!"

    It moves its head towards the replica area that has been created. "However... you have somehow cleared the waters anyway. So I suppose I can forgive your baseless accusations if you release me. I'll even hold to my original promise."

    In response to August, it says, "I am Abyssal Swan, an ancient, noble Shadow! Is it not clear by my appearance, my stature, my presence?"

Emily Branford (999) has posed:

    Emily releases the Swan, dismisses her whip, and the next instant sees her a very healthy distance away. "I suppose it was a bit too much to ask. This will eventually happen again, you realize. But there, we've done our part."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley's expression matches what she says next, in regards to how the Abyssal Swan behaved to what they said.


    Ainsley's mouth is pulled into a thin line and she shrugs once more in that 'what can you do' way, hands up past her shoulders. She turns to walk away from this while still holding her hands like that, until her arms droop back down to her sides. She's headed back to the lake to check on it, not expecting one thing or the other.

Emily Branford (999) has posed:
    As Ainsley goes by, Emily turns, and falls into step with her. After a few steps, she quietly reaches up to give the girl a light pat on the shoulder. Pat pat. We tried.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
That's... Probably good enough for Sanary. Of course this would be the reaction to trying and reasoning with a swan.

     Damn swans, thinking they know everything. She nearly mirrors Ainsley's own expression, looking over at Emily trying to reassure her. Part of Sanary wants to leave, but the other part...

     "... Have you seen anyone else like you around here? Or... Er. Anyone else, even?" She didn't come out here just to smash a glass tree and get cut up. No, she's going to take one last shot to try and get something out of this damn bird!

August Kohler has posed:
"No, not really." August just shakes his head as he steps away with the others. "So, you said you could help us with your lake. How will you do that?"

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa sighs a bit about the shadow but hey it's solved and she's going to just have to figure out ho to dispose of her portion of the mess. Still it ended with out battle and that's good enough for her and it was good to catch up with everyone.

Janine Liberi has posed:
    Once freed, Abyssal Swan stands, kicks its legs and ruffles its feathers to straighten them again. "The waters of my lake have incredible power to banish impurity. You saw how it just cleaned up, right? It can make remarkable tinctures if you have someone who knows about that sort of thing."

    It addresses Sanary last. "There is none like me! Well, not exactly like me. This Forest is home to all manner of Shadows, some older than others."