7007/LI0: Too Many Dragons (MSQ)

From Multiverse Crisis MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
LI0: Too Many Dragons (MSQ)
Date of Scene: 23 January 2020
Location: Last Illusion
Synopsis: The investigators go to Bartal and confront the False Dragon Spirit.
Cast of Characters: Shyra, 6666, 7132, Alruna Greengate, Arcadia, John Rizzo, Staren, 7180, 7191, Arthur Lowell, Tomoe
Tinyplot: Last Illusion
Tinyplot2: Loop Zero

Shyra has posed:
    Despite being saved, the village of Finaria ended up burned down regardless. How this happened is a matter of concern and theory to the others present, but there is a great deal to investigate still. The world is gradually unfolding before the party, the survivors of Finaria directing those present to warn the people of Bartal, the Eastern City, of the threat of the Evil Knight Mordred. Jude, for those searching for him, is missing, nor does anyone reference him in the least. Mysterious.

    The journey to Bartal is short, the lands of Finaria and Bartal joined by a grassy land bridge. About halfway across the land bridge, there is an imperceptible change in the environment, as if it had suddenly become more dangerous. Indeed, the monsters that appear randomly are still little more than an annoyance to the Elites present, but perhaps might be a stiffer threat to a group of adventurers just beginning their journay.

    Bartal is a larger city, walled, with a full port on the southern side near the gates. The buildings within are larger, albeit seemingly made of the same materials as that in Finaria. Still, that and the paved roads speak of greater wealth. There is a full suite of adventurer services present (Inn, weapon shop, magic shop, armor shop, item shop), all arranged through the town in a general semicircular fashion around the central point of a large shrine. Some might remember this being the BLUE DRAGONS SHRINE. Vines and water curl along the walls in a decorative motif, the front door guarded by two men in white robes. Other people mill about in a seemingly aimless pattern. One is staring out at the docks, but most of them seem to be generally staring at the Shrine from various distances, or specifically seeming to stay far away from it. There seems to be a rather somber attitude in the town as well, the theoretically jaunty background music of the area being played in a minor key.

    Shyra, of course, is part of the group, happily accompanying them and basically hovering behind one or the other as she all but acts as a tour guide. And here we are at Bartal! Please, feel free to explore how you like. When you're ready, we'll want to go to the Shrine to warn them of the imminent danger!

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Kupot continues to wear his FANTASY COSTCO gear, though he has to bring his monoblade katana with him, since longswords are not for deflecting lasers. The moogle walks the distance. Other people walked the distance, so maybe it is a sort of thing you have to do. He doesn't want to ruin the experience for everyone by bringing his motorcycle into the world and making the trip in short time. And perhaps it is an excuse to simply enjoy a walk in the word and nature.

As he has a small amount of JII now, he heads to the Item Shop to stock up.

Plus he feels bad amassing foreign wealth, might as well spend it.

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4 shows up with the rest of the group this time, in a typical black outfit and without his visor.  His blue eyes taking in the sights.  There is a lot to go over and investigate, but he's got to be focused and have a plan.  Taking a breath, he looks towards the black box with legs that floats beside him.  The POD makes a chiming motion.

-We appear to be in the city of Bartal.- "Yes thank you, POD, very insightful."

"What is with the people?  Do they seem to be just aimlessly wandering around?" this all seems off to him, that uncanny valley sort of way.  Which is very ironic given what I4 is.  Shrugging his shoulders he gives up.

He starts approaching people at random, asking them about what is going on and seeing if he can find out anything.  Meanwhile, POD is scanning the area, trying to find anything important.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
"-and when we got to the heart of the shrine, nothing /happened/." Alruna grouses from atop her chocobo. "Because Mordred wasn't there to confront us." She finishes relating the story of her, Shigure and Amelris's abortive expedition to Pradia. Sequence breaking, it appears, does not work well in this script, and the WHITE TIGERS RELIC remains unempowered.

The adventurer is dressed in leather armour, lighter than the full plate people are more accustomed to seeing her in, a long lance sticking out above her head. She accompanies Kupot to the item store to spend some of the JII weighing down her purse, dismounting and instructing her giant canary-yellow horse-bird to 'stay here' while she heads inside.

Arcadia has posed:
There's a forgotten (kinda? Seems like it) world that needs saving, by warning other settlements and apparently protecting a set of Relics around to possibly do so, even if when or how isn't entirely known yet.

Essentially just the kind of mission Arcadia was sent out into the Multiverse to pursue.

She's got dungeoneering experience, but having an actual party of fellow adventurers to travel with instead of escorting them around is a change that she is, frankly, quite happy to have.

Well other than it means a bit slower on the travel side. She'll manage, for now. That people are telling stories of pass activities helps pass the time for her, at least.

Still by the time they do finally get to their destination she is a little bit on the twitchy side, though it's only really indicated by a few erratic flicks of the sphinx's tail.

"Huh. Kind of quaint." As usual the sphinx remains hovering slightly off the ground rather than standing as she looks around. The standard shops and other amenities. The town's presence seems stable, if a bit on the dour side.

"Soooo..," Arcadia murmurs, "Where do we start?"

John Rizzo has posed:

     Rizzo has gone looking for him, in the burned village of Finaria. He has come up empty handed, even after checking all of the Usual Spots. It is indeed mysterious, but that mystery will have to wait.

     "Nothing doing," says Rizzo to Shyra. He doesn't feel the need to explore. "I just wanna get the wire from you--make sure we're on the same page." The vampire is without his bandages today. With no real sun, there isn't really a need. He looks tired, as always, but resolute. "We're putting the Shrine wise to the danger, and we're doing that because we wanna play this whole story out."

     He lists the next step with an extended finger. "And /that/ we're doing 'cause we wanna wake everybody up--all at once, not one at a time. Do I have it right?"

Staren has posed:
    Twice, Staren has shown up in a fantasy outfit and found himself rather underequipped for the battles he faces. No more. This world is clearly incredibly dangerous. So he's transferred into a robot body (albeit with a realistic, synthetic face that makes it hard to tell) and just worn blatantly futuristic armor plating.

    Naturally, NOW the game throws jokingly easy random encounters at him.

    Sigh. At least this body can walk on autopilot while he reads or something.

    I4 speaks up, so Staren follows him. "They're not people. They're just a few lines of code; movement instructions and a dialogue box. We can go look inside one's brain if you really like, but I've already done so."

    He glances back in Shyra's direction. "However, they have the potential to BECOME people... I don't know if there's a force that creates people out of them on the spot, or if the people they COULD become... the minds and personalities... are stored somewhere else, and only put inside these bodies in special circumstances."

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "We DID learn several new interesting facts, however." Amelris adds in on Alruna's frustrated, extended explanation of their previous efforts. "Namely, a translation of the murail copy that I've made the other time." The Red Mage is currently riding his very own chocobo, that is wearing amusingly a barding that is very much inspired by his own outfit. A nice red helmet, followed by some broiderly red tail cover. Amelris himself is dressed as he always is, his quite fancy, yet practical, red outfit with feathered hat. The bird he's riding is also not yellow.

     It is of a beautiful, well-groomed chocolate-brown feathered bird. It warks as they stop, the Miqo'te stroking the side of his bird's head.

     "Well, my dear... sphinx? Arcadia." Amelris settles on, adjusting his collar as he hops off the bird. "It is as Shyra says. Let us take a look around, talk with people, look at bookcases and shiny wall murails to see what we might be able to learn about this place."

     And he goes off to do just that. The Red Mage joyously steps inside the city, greeting the FIRST person he meet. "Hello kind sir!"

     There's a lot of people to talk to.

Pazkar (7191) has posed:
One of the villagers stands out. He's a blonde man with green eyes dressed in the usual villager clothes, though he moves with much more aim and thought than the others. When Rizzo calls out, the man approaches him. It might be hard to recognize him from the others, until he speaks of his own free will, holding a silver medallion.

Ah. . . it's you. Hello. It's nice to meet you again. And then a pause.

I never got your name. May I have it? . . . not that it really matters.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "'NOT PEOPLE' is a bad way of DROPPIN' FACTS, yo." Arthur is here, as ever, to fuck with Staren and annoy him a lot. "Something that's PERSON-ISH and ABOUT TO BECOME PERSON, it's still CLOSE TO PEOPLE. Don't bring an AIR-HORN to the MOVIE THEATER just cuz it's only the PREVIEWS. Gotta get that UNCOLLAPSED TIMESHIT into 'em!" He has his own goals -- so what can he do to /improve/ this, rather than follow the script?

    Well, he's picked up the plotline, basically, already. Well, some of the keys, anyway. He goes straight for the nearest proper center of lore and learning. His goal is to search for the history and prophetic future of divine beings here -- specifically as pertains to the mysterious containment center. What is the history of that ancient race and those gods? Arthur needs to check it out on the local end, so he can see if there's any half-finished questline chunks he's able to tune into locally. Best to do that before he heads into the shrine!

Staren has posed:
    Staren sees Arthur is here, and turns to him and smiles. "Hey Arthur, up top!" He goes for the high-five, then follows it up with a pre-programmed series of hand and arm moves he can only remember and properly execute as a robot.

Tomoe has posed:
Discovering the fate of Finaria troubled her, with all the effect they put it in refused to change save, for one thing, Jude. Other than that the world was stubbornly rejecting. The effort to alter the fate of that village. What else might they run into like that? Tomoe is left troubled by this, yet there is little she can do about it for the moment. She's still wondering what happened to Jude as well she's not sure if he's dead or did he leave the village? She plans to talk to Shyra when she gets a moment to ask about such things. She hadn't forgotten what Jude had said to her when she was battling the EVIL KNIGHT.

The monsters on the way to their next start are not much of a threat to any of the party really, she thinks about that and wonders how they would be for say a fresh group of adventures?

They finally reach Bartal things seem to be a bit bigger but still made from the same sorts of material as the last town.

She knows the BLUE DRAGONs SHRINE is where they need to go at some point yet for the moment there are people wandering about, and she's brought a few extra things with her to check out the town first.

"Gotcha Shyra, I'm going to nose about for a bit then. If we have the time to, maybe I can turn up something."

She will go hit up the item shop to see if she can sell off some common drops from her own world,s in the hopes of raising some basic JII in the event there is need for it. It also doesn't hurt to stock up on some of the local potions if she can too. She will also keep an eye out for QUESTS or anyone showing signs of behaviour like Shyra, Jude and the rest who have woken up.

Shyra has posed:
    Kupot goes shopping. Within, the item shop consists of a somewhat tanned man with brown hair and a beard with dark eyes, wearing an apron, behind a counter with large flasks arranged behind. Welcome to the ITEM SHOP!


    Presumably, once Kupot chooses to BUY, he sees a small selection of inexpensive but oddly named potions, AUSAD and SANJEV, likely intended for healing and antidotal purposes. There's also tents for sale.

    If I4 is experiencing an uncanny valley effect already, he's going to have a bad time. He approaches a townsman, a male in a green robe with somewhat tanned skin, brown hair and dark eyes. I wonder who is going to need to make the next sacrifice... He says, unable to take his eyes off the Shrine. When I4 inevitably asks for clarification or additional information, he says, I wonder who is going to need to make the next sacrifice...

... Yeah. Well, at least there's a large magical power registering from the Shrine, as well as anyone with them that uses magic. Like Shyra! But not Pazkar. The potions are also very faintly magical, but that's about it. There doesn't seem to be any specific influence making the townspeople act like this. Whatever it is, it's not magical at least. Staren seems to have some advice about it though. There does seem to be /one guy/ who isn't doing animation loops though... Rizzo might know who it is immediately.

    I'm sorry that you were disappointed, Alruna. Shyra interjects as Alruna explains what happened. But you got some useful information, I hope? She smiles at that, trying to be optimistic, clearly. He hovers behind Alruna at the Item Shop as they do their thing.

    Tomoe looks around, but other than seeing Jude over there instead of in Finaria, there doesn't seem to be anyone else conscious like they are. The item shop is as Alruna and Kupot are experiencing.

    Arcadia gets to watch the general pulse of the town. It's not exactly jubilant. Still, the place is nice enough for 'somewhat generic fantasy town'. If it wasn't for the background music being all funky it would basically be just another port town.

    Amelris is jaunty and exuberant enough for the entire town, however. He immediately walks up to someone and talks to the first person he sees! It's not the some one I4 is talking to, at least. What, did you say Finaria was attacked? Oh no, that explains what is happening at the Shrine, maybe... Please do what you can to stop it!

Shyra has posed:
    Shyra does look a little confused at Rizzo's slang, however, but she picks up on the context quickly enough. Maybe. Ish. Yes. That's the plan! She confirms. If we go through the story again and see The End again, maybe more of the world will awaken. Also, there's the changes that have been getting made. I'm not sure what will happen, but I know it'll be good! Always optimistic!

    Staren asks Shyra some existentially complicated questions. Um... She fidgets, looking around for a moment while the others shop. Maybe? I don't know for sure... I think they've existed the whole time, it's just a question of how they're acting... Maybe you're right? It's complicated... She doesn't seem like she knows how to answer Staren's theorizing at all.

    Arthur begins hitting the LORE DUMPS as quickly as possible. He finds a few bookshelves that seem to have actual information in them. Unfortuantely, there isn't nearly as much here of note as elsewhere he's checked:

    The Astomi live isolated in the Western land of Pradia. They do not need to eat or breathe, and remain in their cliffside homes, holding themselves apart from the world that they study. They are known to hold many ancient secrets.

    The City of Bartal, being the Eastern City, is protected by the Blue Dragons Spirit. It is known for its generosity and kindness for the people under its protection. It has been here ever since the time of the Kindeva, some say. There are rumors that the Spirit has a secret purpose, but it does not speak of it.

    There doesn't seem to be any information on the Containment Center here. Still, this is clearly early in the adventure, maybe they just seeded it later on?

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4 blinks at the man saying he is worried about sacrifices.  There are magic sources, sure, but everything seems somewhat normal.  Though the sacrifices seem to bother the android just a little.  With a sigh, and seeing what Staren was meaning, he attempts something...

I4 attempts to access the data in the head of the person he is talking to, attempting to see if he can trace the data back to a source.  The information had to get there somehow, and if these run off script, there has to be a way for the 'system' to monitor it.  

Hopefully, the breadcrumbs were there.  He also kind feels like a hypocrite, for giving Staren crap, but then immediately hacking a guy.  Still, what makes a man a PC, from a NPC?  

Staren has posed:
    "It's fine." Staren smiles and waves reassuringly to Shyra, "We'll keep working on it."

    He watches I4 hack curiously. "Just what are you doing...?"

Arcadia has posed:
It's a normal town. The background music with no visible source is a little weird, but seems to be 'normal' for this world. Arcadia grasped the basics of how they were basically walking around a world that was programmed as some sort of game but never completed. Thus it's 'lost' status in her mindset.

At least someone explained the whole greater purpose of their mission, to get the inhabitants woke. That and needing to charge up the artifacts.

She notices Arthur going off in search of information and glides after him. He talked funny but he seemed to know what he was doing. And finding books. Books are usually a good source of information.

She pauses, hoving behind the space mage (or whatever Art's class was). "Find anything interresting?"

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Three potions of each, Kupot easily packs those away. Next, a tent. That sounds useful, he does not usually bring camping gear with him. He holds out his hand. The salesman reaches out a hand to do the exchange. "Kupo!?"

A few minutes later, Kupot comes out, dragging a three person tent by the bracing. He frowns as he sees that no one is going straight towards the temple. A brief considering of options. There isn't really anything he can do here, can he? He slowly drags the tent over towards the BLUE DRAGON TEMPLE.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris is undaunted. He keeps wandering around town, talking to people but evantually going to the one place where adventurer mingle to /maybe/ see some interesting tibbits on the matter: the tavern. Or the tavern/inn, as the matter might be.

     The Inn/Tavern should have SOME people to talk to and that's where news comes. Perhaps... the writers might leave something there, then? If this pans out, well, he'll have to go check out the shrine itself with the rest of the people here. Still, the general unease, creepiness of this world to him his not lost.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "It does not speak of it."

    Arthur quirks a brow. It won't speak of it. Then, there is a breadcrumb. Something. Some way to understand more. How would the spirit have communicated its purposes, then, in the vision of a lost timeline, if they didn't speak? Or is it just that the spirit won't speak of it, but someone else will? Something else?

    Arthur closes the one page of the one book of the bookshelf that gives him anything to go on. He greets Arcadia by barraging her hand with an immediate crushing rush of daps, pounds, bumps, fives of various kinds, and all the other things she may have seen him do to Staren when Staren prompted him earlier. Then he answers, "YEAH, homie! BREADCRUMBS on the REAL TIMELINE, is what I'm always LOOKIN' FOR." He looks over to the door he entered from, frowns, and heads back out, walking and talking as he explains. "The spirits, godlike things or whatever, they got a link. To this anti-divine-ass motherfucker, Ayudha Raksha. Only thing we know about Ayudha is it's part of the line this timeline was supposed to take, and it's hard as balls to kill. That, and it's got something to do with The Ishvara Protocols."

    "But I can't pick up any of that fuckin' breadcrumb trail aside from some hints about how the spirit won't speak about any of that. So, eyes up for it, huh?" He's going to join in on going into the temple.

John Rizzo has posed:
     "It matters if you want it to, kid. The name's John Rizzo," says the vampire with a tired smile. He claps Jude on the shoulder lightly, then extends his hand for a handshake. "It's good to see you're okay. Hang in there--me and the gang're gonna get to work in a few. Get the plot rolling, you know." After checking to see that Jude is alright, Rizzo seems emboldened.

     "You bet," says Rizzo with that tired smile, nodding at Shyra. "This /feels/ right. You know?"

     There is, come to think of it, something he can do. He is, after all, the Private Detective. It is his to find things hidden beneath notice, left behind or left unfinished. Clearly, the Plot is something left unfinished. The plan so far seems to be finishing it, playing roles that were unfilled, in the hopes that the End can free these people from the loops they're stuck in.

     If that's the case, he needs to find where the plot holes are--and he needs to do it before the heroes run into them. Or else, he has a feeling this whole gig'll be a trip for biscuits. "Say, Shyra. I got a favor to ask--and don't be afraid to tell me to shove off. How did this go down the first time?"

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna shrugs. "It happens." she says to Shyra, interacting with the shopkeeper interface next after Kupot is done extracting his new tent from the shop. She purchases potions. Her purse gets lighter - she doesn't even bother to fish the coins out at this point. It's an odd magic, but a convenient one. Thankfully the shopkeeps have been /rigidly honest/, as far as she can tell, and not simply stolen her money. It's a welcome change from Ul'dah.

She checks one of her belt pouches, reassuring herself that the AUSAD and SANJEV potions she bought are sitting there. Literal strips of text lying in the bottom of the pouch. From recent experience, she knows they turn into the real thing when they're taken out, which is another odd bit of magic but still remarkably convenient for her.

She seems to be just following Kupot around, or rather, he's going to the same places she wants to go. She loiters around the center of town with her chocobo's reins in hand, another false positive for I4 that pings as radiantly magical, looking out for the people she arrived with to satisfy their curiosity. She knows naught of Jude, but she does know about the Astomi.

Alruna halfheartedly checks one of the bookshelves in Pradia's many houses, over an hour into their exhaustive search.

This book contains a recipe for cookies. Strange...

She stares at the book, reading a literal narration - the only legible text /within its pages/ - a few times, before a scream echoes from the house's open door and a crash that sounds suspiciously like a flipped table draws Amelris and Shigure's attention.

Alruna dislikes the Astomi.

She shakes herself out of idle reverie, and puts her fingers to her lips to whistle shrilly. "Anyone who's coming, lets head into the shrine!" she yells. Time to hustle.

Arcadia has posed:
Arcadia's dexterity and pattern recognition capabilities kick in almost like a reflex, and for the most part she matches Arthur's greeting gesture for most of the beats. One of the more awkward fives she ends up swatting with her tail instead. It's passable for the first time, but rest assured she'll have the sequence memorized for next time (unless he changes it).

She also seems to, despite the odd lingo, manage to grasp most of what he says as he heads back out. She nods her head as she follows. "The Real Timeline, then. Instead of this ... state it is in now then."

The sphinx hovers after him, following to rejoin others proceeding towards the temple. "So it's some sort of anti-god... but the means of dealing with it are likely hidden, or lost, if the other entities want not to speak of it." She bobs her head. "Sometimes just speaking of such entities is dangerous, after all. Especially if one yet lacks the means to contend with them."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe gets to her shopping, grabbing what JII she can for later. Selling off various items from her homeworld. Then grabs a few potions and even a TENT because you never know. In games that she played it paid to be a packrat when it came to items. Given this world's behaviour, it is a good idea to keep a stock of local items on hand for the event she might need them for a QUEST or for some other purpose.
She'll give Kupot a look over for a moment nodding to him and then to Alruna.

"So do either of you have an idea about this?"

SHe's about finished up and getting ready to leave the shop. Once she converses with the rest at the shop she'll split off pauses when she catches sight of Jude she'll wave calling out.

"Good to see you are all right!"

She calls out waving to them she's about to say more when Alruna brings up they should get to the shrine, she falls in after the Paladin and will intend to catch up with Jude sometime later.

Shyra has posed:
I4 might feel like a hypocrite, but he's not really harming them at all, right? Surely everything will be fine, as Shyra is wont to say. He begins hacking the information of the person. It only takes a moment to decrypt the incredibly simple information and display it.

    IF (FLAG:BlueDone=1
    print(blue, "Thank you, Hero! I thought I would be next! Good luck in the future!")
    print(blue, "I wonder who is going to need to make the next sacrifice...")

There is not, however, any reference back to a central repository of any kind. The information seems to be entirely self-contained. He also gets a long string of null values that likely correspond to the person's combat ability, strengths, or weaknesses. He doesn't have any, because he was never designed to fight. Still, he is made of flesh and blood. The data there just seems to be the summation of the thoughts that the man can perform.

    Kupot ends up with some useful potions! Maybe they'll help him later. The matter of the tent is another problem, however. Kupot finds himself dragging it around behind him. It also seems oddly nonfunctional at the moment, resisting actually being used despite being assembled. At least no one seems capable of pointing and laughing about it. At least, none of the locals are. The massive doors to the Temple are shut, but they open as he pushes against them easily despite his stature. > SHRINE

Shyra has posed:
    Amelris continues to wander around talking to people. The one near I4 gives Amelris the same response, I wonder who is going to need to make the next sacrifice... Then there's the person near the dock, who says, I wonder when the next ship from Pradia will arrive... A third person mentions, The Blue Dragons Spirit took everything I have. Be careful, it might take everything you have too...

    Eventually, he wanders into the Inn. Like the Item Shop, it consists of a nebulous room with a counter. A woman with somewhat tanned skin, dark eyes and red hair, in a red robe, awaits. Welcome to the INN! 10 JII for the night! Stay?


Well, not much for conversation. However, when he chooses to accept to stay at the Inn, the lady replies, Make sure to hold the RESET button before powering off!

    A moment later, the entire world, everywhere, goes dark. For approximately five seconds, a jingle plays, and then the light returns, as if nothing had just happened.

    Amelris finds himself leaving some abstract representation of a bed, fully invigorated and refreshed. This gives him plenty of energy to hustle over to the Shrine. > SHRINE

    Yes, it seems like it's going right so far. Shyra confirms to Rizzo. I don't know what else has happened, but what happened is that the Blue Dragon Spirit was replaced by a false one. We battled it and defeated the False Dragon Spirit and restored the Blue Dragons Spirit to its rightful place. It provided its blessing to the Hero and told us to travel to Pradia. Shyra just... completely sums up this section of what is 'supposed' to happen just like that.

    Arcadia goes to check up on Arthur. Arthur gets some hints that there's something more there. What is the mystery of the Blue Dragons Spirit? Where is the trail that leads to the Containment Center? Maybe they didn't have time to go back and add more definitive foreshadowing... Or maybe they're not the best at pacing and have loaded all the information into the back end. Bets are open as to which. Arthur heads to the SHRINE, presumably bringing Arcadia along. > SHRINE


    The SHRINE is a large angular structure that rises a couple stories. Water flows down the sides, creating an endless sound of rushing water. Within is a large statue of a serpentine Eastern-style dragon that is curled around a spire behind an altar. There seem to be a lot of pillars and a gratuitous water channel around the room. It's pretty obvious that there's some kind of elemental affinity thing going on here. There is a man and a woman standing next to the altar. Both are somewhat tanned, with white robes, black hair, and dark eyes.


Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur steps forward, crossing his arms. "ALLLLRIGHT, BLUE EYES! Whatchu got for me? Tell me about this SACRIFICE we gotta be makin'." He tilts his head and sneers in as obnoxious a way as he can, as he strides forward further. "I'm ALL 'BOUT that PROSPERITY and shit." He's mostly speaking just to speak, because he's not sure how awakened this thing is -- he was just not involved in any of the shrine explorations before. So he's assuming this thing, by default, is just going to go through the script even despite the fact that he says, "Better not be a VOLCANO MOUTH all 'bout THIS SHIT, FOR REAL, dawg."

I4 (7132) has posed:
That was weird.

The lights going out and then coming back.  Apparently, that was an Inn?   The world was responding to his attempts to hack, but the people seemed to have a very simple code.  They have flesh and blood bodies, but their minds are just a switch code.  No central processing, but they're just waiting for a switch.  An event code.  Something to switch from zero to one.

He decides to follow the others into the shrine, to which there are demands for a sacrifice.  I4 squints, and holds a hand up, aiming to start hacking the statues to see what they are dealing with.  

The text was blue, maybe they weren't just lines of code?

Staren has posed:
    Staren follows I4 and Arthur to the shrine once the hacking's done. "So, what did you find? Maybe your sensors see something mine missed."

    Staren considers the blur dragon statue. "So this one's a fake we need to kill? Where's the real one?" And then he looks at Arthur. "And is there any story as to why or how this fake got here?"

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Kupot heads into the shrine with everyone, still towing his tent behind him. He will not give up on this.

He ends up standing next to Arthur, looking at the dragon as the mighty voice fills the room.

A thoughtful expression comes over his face, then.

"No. No one should hold the prosperity of the people hostage."

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     That was super weird.

     Amelris blinks rapidly as he find himself next to a 'bed', looking out, around, tail flicking in an upset manner. Ears flickers as he shakes his head. Well! He DO feel pretty perky at this point, which DO GIVE HIM A LOT OF ENERGY to go at the shrine to be just in time for ...!

     "HELLO BLUE DRAGON SPIRIT!" The Miqo'te shouts as he slams the doors of the shrine back open after everyone came in. "We are coming in to NOT be sacrificed and to HAVE our relic powered up, kind sir dragon spirit."

     He points over. "No longer shall this town suffer in that manner!"

Arcadia has posed:
Arcadia does indeed follow after Arthur to the temple. His pursuit of 'real timeline breadcrumbs' has perked her interest; this matter with the spirits and their anti-thesis being the sort of secrets she's suppose to be sussing out. She'll have to keep her own eye out for clues, like he suggested. The brief blackout because of what someone else did somewhere else to 'save' is noted as weird, and promptly forgotten for now as there are more interesting things to focus on.

As they proceed into the temple she actually settles down to the ground and walks finally. If only to avoid her zipping about seeming rude and disrespectful. Those are never good things to stir up in a temple of any sort. Definately not in one that is apparently still occupied and utilized.

The binders in her sidebangs jingle a little as she tilts her head to one side. "Sacrifice..." Her tail flicks back and forth. Historically sacrifices are not always maidens or prisoners... but the way everyone else seems to be on edge at the prospect has her leaning towards it being on the bad side of the scale.

"The bionic fluffy one is correct." Her wings twitch at the ready, a flicker across her face as her visor manifests in place. "People should give of their own accord to the assertation of their social stability, not be forced into surrending their very prosperity they wish to protect."

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna slowly takes her hand off the haft of her lance as light returns to the world. Regardless of the little jingle that played, she is unsettled by the experience.

Alruna enters the shrine.

Her hand goes to one of her pouches when the booming ALL CAPS text box comes up, and she holds up the blue Relic taken from the Yellow Forest ruins. "Ask not what we can do for you, spirit, but what you might-" she starts to say, before Amelris bursts in to flamboyantly Red Mage all over the scene. She stops in place, looks down at the floor, then back up at the statue. She purses her lips, pointedly, opens her mouth, and then closes it.

Shyra has posed:
    I4 immediately gets on the ball and stars hacking the statue. It turns out that he gets back a statblock:

HP: 8000/8000
SP: 600/800
STR: 15
DEX: 36
INT: 25
DEF: 19
MDF: 22
EVA: 128

Also, he gets some lines of script that aren't being described here because there's no branching paths and it ends with a fight trigger. Whoops.

    Arthur isn't wrong about the nature of the situation. The 'Blue Dragon Spirit' continues on, not even really responding properly to what anyone says. Kupot shows defiance. Staren talks about it like it isn't even there. Amelris provides jaunty sass AND defiance. Arcadia provides a reasoned and intelligent refutation of the demand. Alruna tries to be dauntless and clever, but it turns out that Amelris just has too much Red Mage energy for the Paladin.

Unfortunately for them, there is no amazingly pointed and well-written response, because the text box simply advances:


At that, the statue springs to life. I4, of course, saw this coming because of HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX, ensuring there is no surprise roll.


                            FALSE DRAGON SPIRIT                            
                             DARKNESS MANIFEST                              


BGM: https://youtu.be/dF5cWiDMjIA

Unfortunately, it still goes first. The animate statue lunges forward, sweeping a massive claw through the entire group in what would be undoubtedly a dramatic and deadly attack, but...


    It flashes, and the claw strikes out, the air slashing around them with varying amounts of damage!

I4 (7132) has posed:
The DRGCLW knocks I4 flat on his butt as he tries to draw in surrounding mana.  It was a gambit, but he knew what he was getting into.  After recovering, he flips back to his feet and draws a weapon.  The rapier comes to his hand as he scans the creature.  

Dashing in, he attempts to impale the head of the dragon repeatedly with quick, but focused blows, before jumping off and landing a distance away.  He motions with his hands, as the POD releases a barrage of missiles, aiming to repeatedly hit the monster.

"I wonder if I could flip the defeated flag now..?" A beat, "Maybe not a good idea..."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is making for the SHRINE and it's still rather impressive when she gets a look at it. She's not here to sight see however that's not why she's here. She can look around later she comes in for a landing her wings vanish as her feet touch the ground. Then the entire world goes black for a few seconds. Tomoe pauses looks around and much like Alruna she's going for her own weapon's hilt.

"What just..."

Then comes to some chatter over the radio about someone using an Inn? Seriously? She shouldn't be shocked it works like that here. She really shouldn't be too shocked given everything else about this world.

Amelris bursts in a moment later after the dragon spirit has spoken.

"It's as he said, we're not here to sacrifice. We're here to have the relic powered up, and make it so the people no longer suffer like this."

She doesn't draw her blade yet, but she's about ready to do so.

It's needed as the spirit speaks once more.

"No you will not have our lives or the relics!"

She draws her blade and summons her shield the mourning wall appears and she'll attempt pt intercept the claw attack, it connects with her driving Tomoe back and she only somewhat mitigates the damage.

"All right then."

She leaps for the animated statue now aiming to make a leaping attack for the thing's face with a powerful leap slash before dropping back to the ground..

"You want them? Come get them!"

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Really, a scripted action ignoring what he said is pretty standard for Kupot.

He cannot attack, however. He must wait. The Dragon has the choice.

Or does it?

Kupot considers that briefly as he brings forward his blade. The monoblade slides out of the scabbard and Kupot steps forward, slashing at the air as the cuts drive in against him. The blade sings through the air with a CRACK, making a thunderous shockwave that parts the slashes of air as they come against him.

His tunic rips apart with the slashes of air, but Kupot's stance does not waver. This thing is not a monster. It is not even a person. It is a thing that must be defeated. This is... odd. Monsters are one thing.


But the answer is simple. Kupot takes a step forward. It seems like just a single step, until he appears behind the dragon, sword extended. He likely did travel the distance in between, but like Sonic, it was faster than the naked eye.

Arcadia has posed:
An imposter spirit?! Is that why they don't want to talk about things?... And if it wants the relics, that's all the more reason to not let them go! Everything makes a little more... well, not necessarily sense, but pieces are starting to click in little bits.

The revelation is rudely interrupted though. The dragon spirit is just as fast as she is, and the sphinx's dramatic leap into the conflict is cut short by the equally swift and wide swing of a limb slamming into her, and throwing her backwards against the wall of the temple. The impact is audible, to say the least.

Afterwards she drops to her feet on the floor, letting out a feline growling grown as she shakes her head. "Yeah, well, you're one stupid boss. You didn't trap us here with you." The sphinx bolts into action, bounding back across the temple towards the enranged faux dragon spirit.

Arcadia leaps at one of the pillars and kicks off of it, proving to be plenty quick and mobile even when she can't fly at full capacity indoors. She kicks off a second, and turns as she does to thrust her hand towards the imposter Blue Dragon, firing off several arcane laser beams at the thing. "You trapped yourself here with us!"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "HEY LOOK AT THAT!" Amelris shouts, rapier drawn and gem hovering over his other hand, fingers wriggling beneath it. "The dragon spirit that asks for sacrifices is actually a fake!"

     The Miqo'te leaps over to the side, swinging out of mostly of the way of the swung dragon claw. It's not complete, it rips into the side of his hips for a moment but the Red Mage retailiate by leaping up in the air, charging straight at the Dragon Statue spirit while swinging his rapier in an upward arc. It leaves behing a trail, condensing into crystal blades that are launched out into a rain of blows at the statue.

     That probably count as Metal, right? Right?

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur suffers the impact of the DRAGON CLAW, dodging hard to one side and suffering a gash to his side that's shallow, but lord, it could stand to have been shallower. "ASSHOLE!" He shouts. "FUCK!" He skids hard, his HEALTH VIAL draining a bit uncomfortably prodigiously, but his eyes flare brightly. "ALRIGHT!" His broom is out, flipping about his hands. He rockets on a skidding strafe, then moves in to take his turn.

    "You wanna FLIP THE DEFEATED FLAG?" Arthur calls out to I4. "That shit's EASY. You just DOOOO IIIIIIT LIIIIIIIKE THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSS!!!" He rockets forward, screaming himself hoarse already as he blasts ahead. Bristles spin. Rockets kick into overdrive. For a moment, Arthur is back on Skaia's surface. He is grinning and suffering. He goes for an overhead. He's depending on this world to sustain itself and correct itself through massive attacks that shake the earth, as Linehart often uses. "COME HERE AND DROP SOME OF THAT COLD BLOOD, YOU REPTILIAN FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!"

    The impact of his broom, wherever it may land, is so vast in the shockwave of gravity it produces that, anywhere else, it would spider-web cracks through the whole town. "HaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!" His voice rises even further as he delivers his gravity-enhanced blow.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna returns the Relic to her inventory promptly - or it just vanishes, one or the other - as the boss battle triggers.

Her hand is just closing around the weapon slung over her back as the False Dragon Spirit lunges and slashes, but she manages to artfully leap out of the way when the air around her whistles as if the slash had directly cut at her, landing a three-point crouch with her lance out. A few lines of red appear on her arm where the DRGNCLAW managed to catch her.

"Of course." Alruna murmurs. Well, with this many people here, they should be able to make short work of a monster like this. She's had fishing trips that were almost this dangerous! Water splashes under her feet as she runs across the water channels and makes a flying leap over the dragon statue's coiled body. wrapping her legs around its body, she raises her lance overhead and stabs at its back, seeking a weak point. Assuming this thing HAS a weak point that isn't simply an elemental alignment.

John Rizzo has posed:
     Rizzo nods. "Good to know," he says. So, there are no sudden plot holes to look out for. At least for the Shrine, seems like all they have to do is just paint by numbers.


     Rizzo seems to have weathered the lights going in and out fairly well. What he isn't crazy about is the FALSE DRAGON SPIRIT. He stands defiantly in its presence. The claws strike him head-on, leaving dark red stains in his dress shirt. His wounds seal up afterwards, and he concentrates upon his faith. A white light glows from his person.

     With supernatural strength, the vampire calmly reaches out. "The idols of the heathen are silver and gold," he recites. "The work of men's hands." His hands grasp for the head of the FALSE DRAGON SPIRIT, each shining like stars. "They have mouths but they speak not;" He attempts to crush the spirit's head with his hands. HIs thumbs extend claws, which attempt to pierce its eyes. "Eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths."

     He squeezes with all his might. His thoughts drift to the villagers trapped in their routines, and he grunts the next verse out between struggling to keep his grasp."They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them."

Staren has posed:
    The statue talks. Staren turns to face it, and then...

    The attack comes. Staren slips into some kind of focused state and dodges and weaves between the claw swipes, unable to dodge them completely, but turning all of them into glancing blows. His armor sparks as scratches are torn across it all over.

    As soon as the claws let up he braces himself, points his right arm forwards, and blasts the beast with a pair of particle beams AND a pair of tiny missiles shoot straight at the statue, shaped charge warheads trying to pierce through it and weaken its structure!

Shyra has posed:
I4 gets struck, but is made of sterner stuff than some of the previous party, perhaps, as he immediately dives back in to strike at them. The rapier strikes, piercing over and over, the missiles blasting all over it in a salvo. It doesn't even try to get out of the way, it seems, the thing's danger seemingly lying in how hard it is to avoid damage. White numbers pop up over its head, a health bar appearing and slowly depleting from the incoming damage.


Amelris rightfully points out that the False Dragon Spirit is a fake. Unfortunately, it has no witty retort, there is ONLY PAIN as Amelris carves into it with his own rapier. The Red Mage makes an incredibly dramatic slash up through the beast, driving down the crystal blades! They piece into the False Dragon Spirit, exploding with arcane force. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like that counts as Metal element.


Whether the False Dragon Spirit truly had a choice in the matter is besides the point right now. The existential nature of free will in this case will have to wait until the battle is over, because either way it's doing what it's going to do. Kupot gets a chance to use his counterstrike technique immeidately, and perhaps expend some of that frustration as he iaijutsu cleaves straight through the Dragon, a dramatic line appearing and a flash in the air! Sadly, being a boss, it's immune to instant death procs, but it does a very respectable amount of damage as it writhes, getting Very Cloven.


Shyra has posed:
Arcadia taunts the False Dragon Spirit about how it didn't trap them. Or did it? Have you tried to run from the boss fight? But the Shrine itself is fully usable, as Arcadia blazes and blasts through the battlefield, scouring the beast with her beams. Perhaps in the end, she is correct in that it is trapped in there with them, however, because /it/ sure isn't running... Perhaps if it might wish to, given the precipitous drop of health it is experiencing.


Arthur unleashes the maximum hype instantly. He drops the big guns, roaring in and crashing with an overwhelming gravity blow. The beast howls as its body cracks and begins crunching in on itself in ways that would be horribly dangerous were it not in the middle of a JRPG boss fight battlefield, but Arthur understands that he's weapons-hot right now and able to go all out! The impact shakes the beast, causing its own health bar to drop significantly!                                     316                                    

Alruna knows when it's time to wave Key Items around, and right now is not it. Maybe if the thing had its power, but right now that's certainly not the case. Still, Alruna, familiar with the dangers of fishing expeditions and the potential for needing 7 highly skilled friends along on them, gets right to work. She leaps onto the dragon's back and stabs in hard! Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to get any critical hit feedback. Maybe she's off by a couple inches, or maybe the world really is RNG deterministic to that level. Did anyone check that? Either way, she still manages to sink the lance in and get a good chunk of damage on it.


Shyra has posed:
John focuses his actions with his creed. The dragon does not respond to it. Words are important, but they are only words until followed with action... but John knew that already. He grabs onto the spirit's head and crushes it, the stone cracking and crunching before his eyes as the thing begins to crumble in his grip. Damage begins to accumulate rapidly as he squeezes. If he can hold on, its doom is assured... but can he hold on?


Tomoe strikes quickly, leaping at the dragon and slashing into it, cleaving with a dramatic and powerful strike! The slash rings out across the spirit-statue, chopping a long gash into its side as the numbers continue to appear. This is going to be a thing.


Staren doesn't need a dialogue. Honestly, with all the talking he's had to do recently, being able to just go from A to Z is probably refreshing. And this time, he's equipped for it! The beams and missiles tear into the Spirit, ripping deep gouges into the statue body and blasting huge chunks out of it as the numbers roll and health bar decays. The shaped charges seem particularly effective in blasting through the body, sending chunks flying all over the place... Though there always seems to be more, at least until it hits 0.


The massive dragon-statue shakes off the overwhelming bombardment. Despite the intense strikes, the thing seems to just keep going. Well, it does seem to have a lot of HP, according to the scans present, as a boss should. The False Dragon Spirit coils up on itself, surging higher and higher as it looks down upon the assembled heroes, and flashes again, heralding the next attack:


    The attack comes... But despite being called TREE, it looks like a wave of blue bubbles that blast outwards and wash over the defenders! Unfortunately, it's not just water, the attack also carrying a nasty, corrosive poison with it!

Staren has posed:
    Staren gets knocked over by the bubbles and washed across the room, venom eating away at his armor, paint giving way to blackened metal, with growing shiny scars where it clawed him earlier vanishing as the metal there is eaten away completely, exposing a second layer of armor underneath. "Is that what Ayuda Raksha was attacking us with...? Ugh, it stings now!" It doesn't actually sting, but he has sensor readouts indicating the extremely severe damage to his armor.

    Staren stands up and keeps his distance now, behaving more defensively but trying to land a solid double-beam shot on one of the cracks he made earlier!

I4 (7132) has posed:
The bubbles wash over I4, he tries to brace with a magical barrier to give him time to get out of harm's way.  This does not end up exactly going according to plan, getting more sparking from the force of the strike and feeling his internal systems scream at him.  Using the Rapier to brace himself, he flips to his feet.

He points a hand towards the Dragon heads and fires a barrage of small lights towards it.  This was going to be a dangerous prospect if they keep fighting like this, so instead of fighting it on its terms...

Then it's time to make it fight on his.  He attempts to cause the code to corrupt in dangerous places, aiming to directly smack HP off the top of the total without actually doing physical damage.

John Rizzo has posed:
     A dome of white light surrounds the vampire. The DRAGON SPIRIT's magic crashes against it, and the barrier holds strong like a rock in the ocean. Gradually, the corrosive aspect splashes through in droplets here and there, burning his exposed skin and eating through the sleeves of his trenchcoat. He grimaces as the acid stabs past his skin into his bones.

     Still... he must finish it. Gritting his teeth and pushing through the pain, Rizzo digs his claws into the idol and takes a step back. Where before he was attempting merely to crush its head, now he changes tack. He grunts with exertion, his slender frame apparently possessed of monstrous strength.

     His body twists suddenly to once side, claws still trying to crush. Wrapping one arm around it, he attempts to wrench the idol's head off entirely.

Kupot (6666) has posed:
This is truly some sort of hell for Kupot. He sees the numbers above the head and sees the life bar go down.

There is a moment. A moment where Kupot realizes he is somehow free here. Yet... people's lives hang in the balance. Hopes and dreams that are going to be new can be built here. This is something important. Yet, all they are doing is fighting... a will-less program to do so. True automata. Nothing that can breathe.

But then again, if they save the dragon, couldn't it have its own feelings and hopes? Kupot turns around, and realizes, how horrible life must be for Linehart. Now staring down this creature, he doesn't see a mindless automaton, but an unborn mind.

Gods damn this place.

Gods DAMN it.

He brings his sword up in front of him as the wave of TREE bubbles wash over him. He can feel them starting to wash into his lungs, making them heave. Fuck this place. Fuck this place. Fuck. This. Place.


The katana flicks out to one side before he slams it back into the scabbard and the orange jewel at the tip flashing outward. A statue to his right falls, and Kupot grabs it. By the will of the old heroes, he hoists it up over his shoulders and leaps. The roof seems to extend, giving him the time he needs to leap, rotating and HURL the statue down at the dragon. It bursts into flames as it goes, a roiling fireballs when it crashes.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur takes the hit dead-on. He grits his teeth and lets it washes over him, enduring it as a veteran pipe-transit adventurer. The poison blasts through his body, and he grits his teeth as his he's filled with nausea. His HEALTH VIAL drains a good chunk, and a STATUS EFFECT icon appears, a sickly green skull. But Arthur Lowell /does not give a fuck/. He spits nauseous phlegm and brandishes his broom, even while his HEALTH VIAL gauge is still draining!

    Each layer of bristles at the tip of the broom spins, churns, and then locks into place in a blast-emitting pattern. "FUCKER! You wanna bring some SICK WATER? BITCH, I BRING THAT SICK FIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEE!" He unleashes a beam of raw starlight, trying to overwhelm the false spirit with huge volumes of damage, and kickstart all kinds of complex cosmic nuclear reactions inside him, burning out what he can. Waves of nuclear fire swirl around him as he unloads the thick beam of light in a constant stream, one he'll keep up for dozens of seconds on end if he gets the chance.

    Because it can't attack until Arthur has /finished/ his turn.

Arcadia has posed:
Once she's on the move Arcadia is in a more familiar element. Her wings flare and magitek thrusters engage, changing from jumping to flying and weaving behind one of the pillars as the false dragon spirit winds up its attack. The energy rings flicker around her arms, changing from base colors to a vibrante orange-red, and as she comes back out from behind the pillars she sees the swarm of bubbles being spewed out, throwing out both her hands. "PYRECRACKER!" Dozens of small fireballs erupt from around her arms as an anti-projectile defense, as each one that hits a bubble erupts in a colorful flare as the name would suggest, popping several more around it. Others simple pop against the pillars as she weaves between them.

The only problem is not being able to reach her full acceleration indoors, meaning Arcadia cannot just outright or outfly the attacks, and the sheer number of bubble waves is more than she can shoot down or take cover from. Enough pop against her form that the acidic contents start to fume a little as it eats into her armor and biomecahnical exterior. Sometimes not being fully robotic kind of sucks. Eh, she'll make due.

Aether briefly flickers around her as she engages her defensive wards to accomidate for the weakened armor temorarily. Arcadia pulls up as her magitek thrusters flare, resuming a mid-air hover. Despite that she's grinning, the rush of battle surging through her. "Okay, my turn!" The runic rings flicker again, and a trio of glowing balls of heat manifest around each of her arms.


A sweep of her arm sends the heated spheres flying, seemingly at random directions. Followed quickly by the second set with a whip of the other arm. At least it looks erratic.

Until they hit the pillars and bounce off like fiery superballs. Or the walls. Or the floors. The nature of coming from the Line becomes more apparent as they do, as with each rebound they get FASTER instead of slower, gaining momentum so when they do finally collide with the fake snake of a dragon spirit they hit as superhard as they are superhot!

Tomoe has posed:
The numbers are appearing she's used to it, but somewhere in the back of her mind it still unsettles her a bit. The fight is well underway. There is no real means to banter with the fake dragon spirit either.

So it's time to keep fighting and it seems to be pretty beefy too as another spell comes their way. Tomoe would find the horrible water has some sort of poison with it as even before her HUD tells her she's poisoned she can feel it she starts to turn a bit green from it.


She will rapidly trigger a spell to purge herself of it shaking her head a little bit.

Tracking Staren's movements and the face he's just blasting away from range makes Tomoe hold off her next attack for a second or two, till she's certain he's done shooting.

When Staren finishes she goes in again she launches a frontal assault at the Dragon, this time trying to get up to the dragon leap on it and drag her blade along the thing's form before attempting to impale it, leaping off when she's done one way or another.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna leaps off the dragon statue again, before she starts getting friendly fire. A lot of these people use rather indiscriminate weapons, after all. The scourging wave of water bubbles mostly misses her, but the poison status it inflicts only needs contact. Instantly nauseous, Alruna fishes around in her pouch for one of those potions she bought at the item shop.

A SANJEV pops from a flap of text into an actual bottle of something in her hand. She pulls out the stopper with her teeth, spits it away and swills the antidote immediately. No such complex thoughts about the nature of this world are going through her head. Regardless of its will-less nature, the damn statue is still trying to kill them. And she'll try to kill it back, just as hard. The philosophers can moan about the mess later.

Alruna holds her spear up overhead, spinning it around nimbly in an arc that carries the head of the lance scraping along the floor and up along the dragon's neck, trying to open the damn thing up. Maybe it'll work on stone, maybe it'll just be another number. She pushes forwards nonetheless, attempting to force it back against the wall.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     The bubbles connects rather hard against Amelris, the Miqo'te letting out a gargling gasp as he can feel the effect of them in his system. It's pretty ... well, he's had worse but this is VERY annoying and very uncomfortable. He'll push through it all. He'll live.

     "Tch!" Amelris calls out, charging straight at the monster itself to slam himself and his rapier into a full-on thrust into the ghost, his blade glowing with some of his mana he gathered and used already. He slides to the side, keeping out of the larger attacks thrown by the others attacking the ghost, before kicking right off the statue by vaulting over all the way into the back, unleashing a swing of his rapier that soars back at the ghost on the way.

     He lands into a kneeling position, skidding back. "Not a big conversationalist, aint it!?"

Shyra has posed:
Staren gets right back to it, pouring his energy into Big Hits and laying out The Damage. He's right on target on one of those big cracks he made, punching deeper into it and widening the hole in the side of the dragon statue as it thrashes around, crashing into the pillars and rocking the arena. Thankfully, it doesn't cause any architectural damage, but it certainly looked imposing as the numbers appear over its head.


I4's attack doesn't look all that impressive at first, but he's trying to isolate and alter the fabric of the game world around him. It's a bold strategy Cotton, let's see how it plays out. Trying to nail down the proper addressing is almost as bad as trying to land a solid blow on it in the first place. The metaphorical similarity is striking, actually. Still, I4 begins cutting into the data of the dragon... and the thing statics, sizzling as it roars, wounds spontaneously /opening/ across its body. That did... /something/. But what?


If the Dragon is impressed at John's resisting the energies being brought to bear, it's not capable of displaying it. The False Dragon Spirit crashes forward, only to be seized by the head. With a grinding noise, there is a tremendous CRACK as he breaks the head right off of the statue, wrenching it away... But even separated, the head floats back into place, blue energies dragging it into some disjointed semblance of its shape. Still, it's interesting, perhaps, to see the lag in behavior between the body and head.


Shyra has posed:
Kupot continues to face existential agony as he battles the beast. The lack of options grind on against the moogle samurai's thoughts, a splinter in his mind. The discomfort becomes anger, the anger becomes action. He expresses his discontent once more through the powers of old, the jewel giving him the insurmountable strength to hurl the statue right into the False Dragon Spirit. The impact craters the beast, driving it down with a huge detonation, the hurled statue breaking apart. More and more, the False Dragon Spirit seems to be shattering into pieces, only held together by its spiritual force.


Arcadia's dramatic and powerful attacks continue to give her free reign of the area. Even with the tight quarters compared to the Line, Arcadia is more than capable of navigating the treacherous environment, using her agility to compensate and give her lines to take full advantage of her overwhelming speed advantage. The only problem she has is that she keeps falling victim to saturation bombing... Something speed doesn't help with so much. The superheated super-fast spheres rebound all over the room, making it impossible to avoid... But the beast isn't avoiding anything. It's getting battered and beaten all over the place. Not that it could avoid Arcadia's attacks in the first place, but it gives them plenty of time to speed up and begin pulverizing more and more chunks, forcing that false spirit out!


Tomoe keeps fighting! She's far from finished yet. Something about this certainly must evoke a familiar feeling to her, but not in the good way. How much like her old world could this place be like? Could it be related in some heretofore unknown way? What if... Ah, but such thoughts are useless right now. Instead, it is better to focus on how to stay on the breaking dragon. Tomoe finds herself having to do a little impromptu platforming as she runs from chunk to chunk, slashing and gashing her way across before impaling a piece of the statue, breaking it apart before she leaps off!


Shyra has posed:
Alruna bypasses existential dread in favor of /killing the dragon/. This seems like a solid plan. Unfortunately, the attack just seems to ding off of the thing, as if the thing that just got ripped up a moment ago seems nearly impenetrable, the attack just not able to get the right leverage. Almost mockingly, the feedback comes up:


Indeed, the False Dragon Spirit is not much of a conversationalist. It hasn't said a word since beginning the combat. What are its motivations? Does it have any? What does a spirit want with sacrifices anyway? Amelris decides the better answer is more daring and deft bladework, vaulting and stabbing with an explosion of arcane might and passionate skill! The impact blows out another large chunk of the statue, making it look more and more patchwork as he does so.


The dragon is looking heavily damaged already, the focused aggression of the gathered heroes causing the thing to disintegrate even more rapidly than perhaps intended. The number of people is /certainly/ higher than the original party, using combat methods that never existed in its context... is SOMETHING compensating for that? Either way, the massive False Dragon Spirit drags itself out from under the firepower, about to attack...

When Arthur locks it down. The delay only extends more and more as Arthur hammers into it, the creature unable to begin its assault as if being held back by some unspoken law. The nuclear blasts roar as they unleash dramatic, time-consuming animations that keep the thing from doing anything while he BRING THE CRUSH on it, showing the huge enemy who's boss. The NUCLEAR BEAM OF OWNAGE rips through the dragon, creating blinding explosions and flares of light that surely would tear everything to bits.

And then the light fades, finally.


There really is only one way to see that, as some kind of nigh-deterministic NO U that the wordless boss fight has responded with. But then it gets to move, too. Finally, it begins bringing its claws together before it spins around like a tornado, slashing out over and over again with seething blue bubbly waves. How is this TREE at all? This is totally inconsistent!


Unfortunately, that doesn't matter since it still seems to possess the ability to simply just /attack/ people regardless. And unfortunately, this seems to be a particularly nasty one.

Kupot (6666) has posed:
The slam, the unearthly slam, hammers into Kupot. But the moogle's tiring of the situation pushes him forward. There are too many thoughts swirling around his head. How this could be someone who may come back in a reset. Could he be dooming them to oblivion? Can he make this choice? No, no, all signs point to this being okay.

Being a soldier was easier.

No. That thought is wrong. WRONG.

Kupot runs into the slam, pushing his body forward as it hammers him nearly flat. If he didn't have full subdermal plating, he'd be paste. Instead, he merely slams to the ground, one of his legs giving out with a SNAP of the femur. Pain makes his vision red as he struggles to get forward on the single leg.

Instead of a single precise strike, Kupot forgoes the skill and speed of Iaijutsu, instead simply cleaving his sword into the statue. The unnatural speed is gone from the blows, but they contain the superhuman power of a Mithril enhanced soldier.

I4 (7132) has posed:
The waves wash over I4, he just can't seem to find a way to get around the attacks made by this thing.  Holding his chest he can see his systems start to fail.  If he didn't do something he was going to lose.  He had a lot to do still, so much work to do.  He couldn't let them down...

-Combat systems compromised, retreat recommended.-

"Not...yet.  We're going to..."

He nearly slumps forward but catches himself.  Well, if its weakness was metal, then maybe.  He prepares another attack, the POD's head opens up, and a beam starts charging.  I4 hacks in sequence, attempting to change a letter in the code to accept that all attacks coming in at it are the element of METAL.

With that, the beam cannon from the POD FIRES, aiming to try and tear through the Dragonhead with every ounce of mana he had left.

John Rizzo has posed:
     One final cry of effort as John tugs the head of the statue off. He tosses it to the side, taking a moment to compose himself... only to see the head float back into place. He cracks his neck, digs in his heels, and winds back for a haymaker. With a resigned sigh, he swings.

     His attack is interrupted by BIGREND.

     The spinning strike impales John and twirls him around, his wounds sizzling in gruesome fashion upon contact with the TREE element. When at last the spinning stops, John is thrown across the room. He hits the wall with a heavy and worrisome thud, slowly sliding down the wall. As he slides, he leaves a smear of blood, until at last he reaches the ground. He is still.

     He stirs. John rises unsteadily to his feet. He removes his battered trench coat, revealing a positively bloodsoaked dress shirt beneath it, hanging off of his gangly frame like a gruesome red curtain. He removes his tie as his posture straightens. Then, he rolls up his sleeves.

     The vampire charges, building up more and more speed until he's moving faster than even a trained sprinter. At the last minute, he pushes his shoulder forward and springs off the ground, hitting the idol with a running shoulder-check.

Arcadia has posed:
The fake spirit is starting another swing -- no wait, it's something more. A warning flashes in the corner of Arcadia's visor-vision as it detects the serpent starting to pick up speed as it moves. "Oh ho ho. Now you might actually be a challenge this time!" she cackles, way too eagerly even as she dives from her position towards the False Blue Dragon. She ducks under one swinging claw, and keeps going, starting her own circling motion.

In the opposite direction.

It's crazy, but there's a method to the madness. Because it's enchanted hyperglass her visor can see exceptional speeds as clear as day. Both for herself, and the movement of her enemy. That means that by flying into the attack, she can see the arms and their splay of toxic bubbles coming and take evasive action. Up and down and up and down she goes! The whirling dervish of the serpent's attack does little more than graze her, which ablates her arcane shield until it shuts off but doesn't knock her out of the air. The side effect of those noxious bubbles is doing more damage to her technorganic body than the direct attacks are. But that's just like having an extra bit of pressure to keep going, adding to her rush.

Admist the spinning and swirling Arcadia turns her gaze down, focusing a scan at the lower body of the serpentine statue. Spinning like that, putting it's form into motion on a single pivot, and while not a core to shoot that's one point being put under a lot of force.

The sphinx does sideways spiral to get out of the attack sprays, and dives down towards the base of the serpent. She keeps going, switching her elemental subsystems to wind once more, and focusing it in her wake. By flying in such tight spirals around the base of the serpent form, in the opposite direction of it's own rotation, the wind magic whipping around her is creating a counter-rotation vortex, pressure and friction slicing and tearing away because of the opposite directions.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's weapon glances off the statue /somehow/. That's okay, sometimes you just aim wrong, and the thing just momentarily fritzing is damaging Alruna's calm in a way that makes it difficult to focus.

She crouches for better balance, getting knocked back by successive waves of bubbling water that inflict another debuff on her. Alruna uses another of her potions, clutching her stomach for a moment as it cramps. Knocking those things back in rapid succession is not a good idea, and not even that effective as she can still feel vitality draining away.

This is definitely not the cakewalk of a fight Eyestalker was.

Kupot is not alone - Alruna looms behind him, the spearhead of her weapon glowing with aether as she takes another spinning strike, throwing her weight behind it for a brute force skewering attempt (and if the thing dies she'll be able to stop it from falling on the moogle) before the dragon's fell magic... fells her.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur's attack is hard-nullified.

    "FUCK YOU TOO!" He shouts, panting with exhaustion after that big blast. Then he takes a heavy barrage of slices -- a barrage that bounces him around the room, slamming him into walls as he crashes and smashes.

    He can't muster those Big Shots now. Not like this! He has to pull it back, reel it in, and try to control himself if he wants to get through this! However, it's important to note that last part: If he wants to get through this. Not, say, 'If he wants to blast wildly and get as much damage as he possibly can in before he goes down. Because he's starting to think he's going to go down shortly. So he resolves to get his shit together, spit out a last little bit of poison, and slam his broom into the ground. It plants there, and a quarter-second later, a wave of crushing gravity like the surface of a black hole's event horizon screams its way towards the false spirit, trying to crush the thing with a massive, and surprisingly invisible strike -- or it would be impossible to detect, if not for the rushing winds and the noise of atmosphere compressing and shearing against itself.

Staren has posed:
    Staren's body crackles with electricity and BOILS the poison away... just in time for the next attack to come. Staren braces for impact, puts up his forcefield, and holds up his arms defensively, but the REND is just too BIG. Wave after wave of poisonous claws tear into the forcefield, and then through it, and then strip the armor from his arms, and the second layer, exposing mechanical bits and wires that the new poison starts eating away at, as it eats into the second armor layer on the rest of his body.

    Warnings flash in his HUD. At this rate, he'll be disabled in seconds! And he doesn't have enough energy to save himself AND keep attacking!

    But it's not over until it's over. Maybe, just maybe...

    Staren moves his arms slightly, from up and defending him into an X in front of him. He uncurls his fists, palms flat. His arms begin to glow, brighter and brighter.

    The poison eats away at his body ever so slightly more, split-second by split-second. He takes a deep breath; he doesn't actually need air, but he's not thinking about it.

    He kicks off the wall and charges the statue! "HyaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

    The glow extends beyond his arms as a high-frequency energy field surrounds them in cutting energy. Electricity arcs between the field and his body. He leaps into the air, higher than any normal human can. And then--

    In an instant, he crashes into the statue with hundreds of pounds of robotic weight (lighter than usual, thanks to what it's done to his armor), he slashes his arms in an X, hopefully cutting into and through the statue, and all that electricity discharges at once -- even to something without a nervous system, that kind of energy transfer can melt, explode, or at least burn away! At the same time, the electricity arcing between them vaporizes most of the poison on his body!

    And then Staren lands behind the boss on one knee, unsteadily, the air around him shimmering with heat, surrounded in a rising cloud of vaporized poison and coolant.

    Will he even still be able to fight after that...?

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Okay, perhaps not taking this thing seriously might've been something of a problem.

     He's not quite sure what something being 'tree' elemental really means or what it is supposed to do but Amelris certainly don't like the effect it has. The Red Mage leaps into the side, unfortunately landing into one of the bubble waves, trying to adjust and instead getting slammed into another bundle of them. He rolls, slammed into the ground and coughing out.

     This is a very different fight.

     "THIS... is quite vexing!" Amelris calls out, pushing up to his feet after this serious pinball he just suffered, flicking out a POTION and taking a long, deep swig out of it. THAT makes it feel all better for that it's worth. He grabs his gem, focusing his aether into it as he thrusts out his rapier at the Ghost. It's time to kick it up.

     "VERFIRE SECUNDO!" He calls out, slamming down rapier into the ground. A gigantic fireball explodes out from his position into the Ghost, Amelris stepping up and lifting his gem-holding hand.


     The fire spreads out, bursting out with strength, adding concusssion to the blow of the fireball.

Tomoe has posed:
Could it be connected somehow to a game that never saw the light of day when her dad was young? It's a useless thought, for now, she'll dig into it later if later even correct. She doesn't mind the platforming, she is pretty good at it. Even before the death game, stuff like this was something she did for fun. She scores a hit and will be getting away as she leaps off she comes in for a three-point landing and is back in the fifth shortly after.

"This thing is tough."

With how much damage this creature can take and it dishes it back out as the pain comes the clawnado for lack of a better term. She glows briefly as she moves to block and parry what she can.

She's covered in jagged red wireframes line and cries out even with how durable she is that hurt a lot, a hell of a lot. She looks to see I4 is in a bad place, a very bad place. She makes up her mind and will charge her blade with magic after chanting briefly. She makes another run for the boss to leap and drive the Dawn Breaker into the hulking stone monster and if she can do that? She'll channel the rest of the spell causing an explosion of fire and holy fire, hopefully causing internal damage to the thing as I4 unloads everything he has.

Shyra has posed:
The assault is devastating. Kupot finds himself caught on the edge of life and death once more, a man who has chosen his path against a being who has been given immense power, but has no say in how to use it. The moogle strikes, the brutal blade technique crushing into the beast and driving it back. Is it enough? Time will tell.


The strike opens the floodgates, breaking its guard for I4. The clever robot alters the nature of its own attack, the laser beam firing... But not as a blazing bolt of energy, but a horrific spike of black liquid metal, twisting and dark as it punches straight through the False Dragon Spirit. It roarts, the energies of the thing disrupted as it begins to dissolve under the strike.


The thing is laid bare. It can't protect itself anymore between the two strikes. John takes full advantage of this as he slams directly into the thing. He crashes into the side of the dragon, blasting through it like a freight train. A piece of its foreward body simply /vanishes, only a sinuous strand of flickering energy keeping the thing intact.


Alruna strikes, her aetheric blade punching into the beast and tearing at it in body and spirit. Not that it is immune to being stabbed in any case, this is before immunity to physical attacks was a valid boss option. Well... In most cases. Still, she cleaves into the thing, pushing it that much close to the end.


Shyra has posed:
Arcadia reverses the polarity. Okay, so maybe it's not quite that trite but the concept is similar. Whatever the situation is, the assault is incredibly effective, the counterpressure ripping the dragon-statue apart. Already, it looks like it's more fading energy than stone at this point, hunks of itself being scattered all over the place.


In the meantime, Arthur finally marshals some true indignation in the face of that miss. He puts it all on the line and like usual, the hype master burns himself up to simply implode the living hell out of the thing. The collapse of space and atmosphere on the thing rips through it, swallowing up the broken up substance of the thing as it begins to be dragged in circles like water being pulled down the drain. At this point, it can't even marshal the strength to escape the event horizon.


Not taking it seriously can in fact be a problem. Thankfully, it's not so late that taking it seriously NOW can't fix the problem, and Amelris is nothing if not flexible. That's the defining trait of a Red Mage, after all. He hurls potent black and white magics at the False Dragon Spirit, and the thing is blown apart, collapsing into the hole.


Shyra has posed:
Staren doesn't give the creature a chance to rally. This thing has to be put down, /now/. He unleashes the high-frequency field slashes, blasting through it with classic style as the X slashes scream in the air, hanging there as the dragon explodes, allowing Staren to land beyond the target on one knee, looking off into the distance dramatically as the False Dragon Spirit begins to dissolve.


Because there's no kill like overkill, Tomoe seals the deal by driving the blade into the fading spirit, channelling holy flames through it to finish dissipating the thing. It roars, dissolving, the Shrine shaking as the creature undergoes its death throes.


And then... the battlefield is clear. The False Dragon Spirit is defeated, the statue missing from where it stood. Alruna feels a distinctive /hum/ as a glowing seal where the statue was begins to glow, revealed with the statue gone... And there is a crack as the seal breaks, sizzling away with the power that held it disrupted. With a flash, there is a new statue, this one looking the same as the old but holding a much more... gentle aura. The statue's eyes flash, and there is a low, gentle rumble.

You have my deepest thanks, brave ones, for your valor. I have been sealed away for quite some time by that False Dragon Spirit. But your work is not done. A great evil rises in the West, and with your power, you may be the only ones who can stop it. Raise your Relic aloft, Hero, and receive my blessing!

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4, literally on his last legs looks up as the False Dragon Spirit is destroyed, and the real one appears.  Coughing, he looks up and laughs, "We did it...wooo..." he says, before...

And then collapses forward flat on his face.  

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
"Wooooooooooooo." Amelris lets out, grunting and falling on his ass, his tail thunking against the ground. "THAT sure was a whole new level above the PREVIOUS abomination to fight." He looks up at Alruna, before pushing himself back up to get ready to look at people's wounds, like I4's. "Go ahead, Paladin girl."

John Rizzo has posed:
     John stops himself with a slightly ungainly motion after he crashes through the idol. He brushes particulate off of his shoulders, and turns, just in time to see the final blow struck. When the true Dragon Spirit returns, the shift in the presence is palpable--at least for a Malkavian. His shoulders ease up with relief.

     Rizzo has no relic--but he does need to go and get his coat. Fishing his necktie out of his pocket, he dons it once more with a Windsor knot. The motion is practiced and calm, even with his shirt soaked in blood. His wounds aren't healing as fast as they were before the TREE aspected attacks. Perhaps corrosive damage is harder for his powers to mend.

     He slips on the battered coat. "He won't," says Rizzo to Shyra, regarding Arthur's miss. "I feel pretty sure of it." After having uttered his assurance, the vampire quietly fades into the background of the shrine. His work is done, for now.

Staren has posed:
    Cool guys don't look at explosions.

    It's over. Staren stands up, unsteadily. The robotic body is severely damaged -- maybe half of its surface is armorless, exposing wires and mechanical bits and thus, it's true nature. But it's no longer deteriorating -- the poison has all been vaporized.

    There's still wisps of steam and smoke rising off of him. "Well." He glances to Kupot, but Shyra's on it no doubt. He looks at her. "How on Earth did you beat this battle the first time, with only four or five people? Was it easier then?"

    He walks back towards the entrance of the shrine and stops on the way to crouch, reach down, and lift I4 with one robotic, almost-skeletal hand. "Hang in there guy. Do you sleep, or do you need to recharge with magic, or... what?"

    He does wait to watch the empowerment of the relic before leaving and helping carry anyone who needs carrying.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna cracks her eyes open again, and nearly collapses on Kupot herself in relief. Okay. They did it. She feels awful, and nauseous, and she's still bleeding, but she's standing.

And she has something to do. Alruna steps away from Kupot carefully, fumbling with the clasp on her bag. The relic is definitely reacting now. She hooks her lance into the holster on her back, and draws herself up before the dragon statue with some mixed feelings. The only good dragon is a dead dragon, she was raised to believe. Intellectually, she understands that dragons from other worlds may not be the Horde, but she still looks upon the statue with some trepidation as she grips the Blue Dragons Relic firmly by its base.

She nods stoically to Amelris, and holds the relic up.

Shyra has posed:
Once the battle is over, Shyra rushes into the Shrine. Hey, why wasn't she helping? Oh well. Congratulations! You did it! she says, and immediately gets to work pulling Kupot's leg into position so it will set properly when she uses healing magic. It's not the most pleasant experience, but at least the pain fades fast with the euphoric rush of healing magics.

    I4 also soon gets the green sparklies, the healer working triage efficiently before beginning to top peope off with group heals.

    In the meantime, Alruna holds up the Blue Dragons Relic. As she does so, she steps forth, presenting an ancient relic won through strife and deep suffering to the Blue Dragon Spirit. In response, there is a sparkling flash of blue light. The Relic is filled with a lambent azure light, filled with the blessing of the Blue Dragons! Now Alruna can use the power of the relic to perform TREE elemental attacks. Oddly, however, all the special effects look like blue watery stuff.

Arcadia has posed:
As the false serpent statue starts to crumble from the onslaughts Arcadia pulls away from the base to avoid getting caught in the catastrophes being unleashed.

She circles the perimeter of the temple chamber a few times until she's less of a red and tan blurr, then deploys a couple of retro-thrusters to properly brake and bleed off the rest of the inertia.

Even then, her landing is a bit of a skid before her claws get enough grip to stop entirely. Followed by a few huffs of combined exhaustion and excitement. She doesn't need to breath, her body just mimics the gesture to express the current state of being. As such she stands up pointing at the now empty spot. "That's what you get for being a poser, snake!"

Followed by the -real- dragon coming into being and offering to properly charge up the relic. "Ah. The true, benevolent spirit. Seems like it was sealed to keep the relic from being used."

... Though the elemental alignment still seems to be off. Weird. "I wouldn't want to see this world's alchemical alignement charts, the naming is weird enough."

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur pants, gasps, and hunches over, with his hands on his knees. He may be only a bit wounded, but he's a /lot/ exhausted right now. "Yeah, bastard. And don't you come back..." Then, a thought hits him. The false spirit must have been uncooperative about explaining its origins because it was fake! So it /didn't know/! He waves to the others. "Hey! Hey, whoever got that artifact, get that shit hoisted."

    It is done. Nice. NICE! Now, Arthur speaks up. Is there some way he'll be able to trigger what he's after? "Hey! Heyyyy, thanks tons, homie!" He calls out to the spirit. But he has one other question. "Hey, do you have anything to say about Ayudha Raksha and The Ishvara Protocols?" He's trying to keep it as simple as possible, to stick to "dialogue selections" that might exist.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris watches the sparkliness happening, the IMBUING taking place. Now, this is pretty well and good, just as Mythy and Fabely as it ought to be. It DOES feel like some of the old fairy tales talking about shining heroes rescuing things and daring feats of magic.

     "Hey, Arthur, sit tight." The Red Mage says, squeezing his floating gem and holding his open palm over the man. It comes in a sudden, quick burst of energy giving him a good boost of healing power. "Yeah, while we're at it..."

     Amelris pulls back, popping out ANOTHER scroll. It looks similar to the PREVIOUS ONE, except that it's translated by what the sage told them. "What can you tell us about /the prophecy/ and the White Statue?"

     Maybe it DO react to code word. That's what optimists do, right? Try things even if they know it might not work?

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is of the school of overkill when it comes to things like this, you make sure the monster is down and that it /stays/ down. When the statue's eyes glow she looks a bit concerned but when it speaks she relaxes. It seems they set free the actual spirit of the dragon.

"No problem."

SHe thinks for a moment then watches as the relic gets charged up and she looks to Alruna for a moment grinning.

"That's one down and three to go."

She's hurt but doesn't ask for healing from anyone she'll wait, many others need it more than she does. She will ask once the healers are done with everyone else. She does seem happy though they made some progress, right?

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna has Mixed Feelings about receiving a dragon's blessing. She... bows, a bit stiffly, to the statue after the light show fades away, leaving the Relic aglow with power. "Thank you." Alruna manages, somehow not stumbling as she steps backwards and turns around to regard the others.

Well, get a good look at it. She puffs out her cheeks, and smiles. "One down." she agrees, tucking the Relic safely away again. "Okay, I... I have to go lie down."

Shyra has posed:
    And now they go off script. You'd think this would end up being a dead end, but...

    Things are a little different now. I4, if he's paying attention, might notice a dummied out pointer actually having something to read now that SOMETHING HAS CHANGED ELSEWHERE, and now the conversation slides into Something Completely Different. The mighty Blue Dragon Spirit begins speaking again... And not to repeat itself this time.

The Dread Protocol is to stand against the Gods themselves. The Raksha was created to battle against both order and chaos, to cast down all boundaries of the world, to destroy all Spirits. To defeat the Ayudha Raksha you must pierce its defenses. Four are not sufficient. Without the power of its greatest foe it will be invincible. You must seek that which is hidden and uncover the y3l1w 3MPr R3l1C#)!R)J#FMG. Only then will you face the truth beyond infinite illusion.

The conversation then spills out into useless noise and junk, the Blue Dragon's conversation box overflowing and promptly failing closed, the box terminating and the Spirit going quiet.

Staren has posed:
    Staren actually drops I4 in shock as he stares at the Blue Dragon Spirit, mouth hanging open.

    Then he smiles. "Well..." and then he realizes he dropped I4. "Oh! Sorry!"

Arcadia has posed:
Arcadia excitedly claps her paws together. "See? Even the anti-god has a secret weakness." She looks not at all surprised when the garbled script can't tell them exactly what it is. Of course not, that would be too easy.

More breadcrumbs to follow.