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No title.
(2013-05-26 - 2013-05-27)
No description.
Stormfall An already muddy and half submerged location, the constant lashing storms have all but rendered Tramdine Fens a labyrinth of unnaturally quick-growing weeds, dead plant (and animal) life and turgid swamp water.

Thin interconnected swathes of rushes make six or seven foot tall hedges. There are numerous wet islands and stands of rotten plant matter extending out for many miles. It only amplified the smell. The smell of rotten and putrifying plant and animal matter that cannot be cloaked even by torrential rain.

Broken swords and rotted leather poke forlornly from the muck, shining with a dull and threatening dark promise.

Here be monsters.

Although the main part of the Tramdine Fens is heavily waterlogged and in many places submerged, the source of the storm activity is a node some mile and a half to the southwest.

Man-- this place is going to do a number on nice shoes. Hopefully nobody brought theirs.
Arkham Fisher Arkham doesn't even own nice shoes. Her boots looked like they'd been through four wars even before she started romping through swamps in them. She's deployed herself again as freelance combat medic, accompanying another Shard hunt; certainly, it's Faram's work, righting Darkness' wrongs, or aiding the ones who will. Plus, she'd heard there might be some actual pay this time.

Despite her (formerly) White robes, the young woman marches with sword in hand, keeping to the center of the party and keeping here eye on the rushes to the left flank.

"What do we, we expect, in here?"
Serah Farron Serah Farron is already pestering against the mud. Sigh. Not the best situation by far. She's going to scrub all of this out of her pants for 3 days at this rate.

What is she doing here anyway? Well there was a post up about requesting for help, and she needed the munny. She's been managing since she arrived, but with being always on the move and all, its been hard. So help, that sounds like something she can do. She has healing magic after all, always handy, and there's no end to monsters it seems.

They had failed to mention the mud, or to bring rubber boots or suits. Maybe some ramps would be nice.

Now for another question, what is she doing here exactly? A question she asks outloud "Where are we going like this? " She almost echoes Arkham's concerns there.
Ophelia Ophelia has nothing but nice shoes. And nice clothes. And nice armor. And... well you get the picture.

The torrential downpour has put her in a rather foul mood, not least of all because the flooding has set back her plans for construction. Eager to be free of having to live among the cloistered halls of the Mullonde Cathedral, she put her first, and currently only, recruit to work clearing out a suitable spot with his strange geomancy. The local inhabitants did not appreciate this. They were dealt with.

Artyom is not present with the young samurai today, perhaps busy elsewhere or dealing with his other job that he mentions so often. Nor is the aging Alexander, having complained of joint pain due to the storms. Typical of him lately, his age was becoming an issue he could no longer ignore and that thought made her smile.

She is, infact, alone. Normally that would make her quite happy but the circumstances that have led her here are less than enjoyable. The pure white silks of her thigh-high stockings are practically stained black up to the knee from the murky water and the polished finish of her armor looks dulled and dirty under the filthy rain. Whatever caused this is going to answer to her for it.

Ophelia wanders through the muck and water, sticking carefully to the few places where solid earth remains upthrust above the swamp, following meandering paths of dirt like arterial veins towards the heart of the disturbance. Her path has not yet crossed with that of the others - she isn't even aware anyone else is coming to investigate.
Kyra Hyral For those of Alexander Academy, world shards had been quite a 'thing' lately. There was an urge, with some, to find their world again-that, or find a world they could call their own.

Or in the case of Kyra Hyral, a world shard of her own to research. Speaking of research, she's done a bit of her own in this case. In addition to her usual gear, she's kitted herself out with a raincoat and a set of very tall rubber boots. Of course, this meant leaving her usual 'fancy' boots at the nearby inn she's crashed at for the past night.

Naturally, she didn't go alone. But there seems to be a definite lack of tough guys to take refuge behind right now. "I can't say this was the help I was expecting..." she tells both Serah and Arkham. "Buuuuut I think it'll work. Regardless, I heard a rumor of a possible World Shard out here."
Caran Steel They may or may not be 'nice', but Caran's boots remain relatively clean. Because he's riding a chocobo. Blackwing flies over the fens, Caran scouting the area ahead of the group. He's here to adventure, because he has to pay the bills somehow! Also, 'thunder' will probably help someone!

For the most part, this means waiting around in the air while the adventuring group below slogs through the mud. Some vague sense in the back of his mind warns him not to mention this to them, though.
Caran Steel P.S. If he knows it's a world shard, Caran is even MORE INTERESTED because finding out about them will help him learn about how to restore his own world!
Stormfall Goblins and ghoulies and a whole lot of biting flies, should this storm ever let up. It's relentless, a sort of harsh drumming rain that falls in thick sheets that hammers the swampland so intensely that the sound of the rain makes a good play at drowning out conversation and the sound of movement. Thus -- a separated group, even if separated only by the walls of fens, are easily lost in the shuffle.

From the air, Caran can see that the Tramdine Fens extends for many flooded miles. There seems to be something in the distance, some sort of vehicle extending from the mire whose silohuette is only a shadowy lump through the sheets of shadows and rain.

There is an ominous rumble as a flickering tongue of lightning scorches the sky, flickering between two clouds like the tongue of a snake. What happens to be only a mile or two away however turns out to be a circuitous and twisting route by following the raised portions of the swamplands.

Dead ends and loop arounds are avoided by virtue of having a man in the air, but it's still looking to be a treacherous pathway.
Arkham Fisher Arkie casts a baleful glance at the sky as the storm lets slip an errant bolt. Hip-deep in water is not at all where she wants to be in a thunderstorm. She'll just have to deal, though. There's still plenty of tall stuff around to draw fire. She nearly turns her glare on Kyra before remembering to put on a more agreeable expression. "That's why I'm here," she nods to the chemist. "Especially if you, you didn't bring your cleric this time."

Still conscious of the condition everyone left that adventure in-- whenever she moves her shoulder, for instance-- the Sister of Ajora bows her head slightly. "Maybe I can, can do a bit better this time. I hope."
Souji Murasame "We're all here. Excellent."

And suddenly Souji is there. Souji wears nice shoes.

He also doesn't need to worry about the Fens ruining them because he can fly.

If the wildlife ruins his shoes (or his adventuring suit), they are going to regret it. Murasame and his associate(s) may not have arrived from the Ame-no-Torifune. How can you tell right now if they did? "Steel. Kyra Hyral." He pauses, looking over those others present. He doesn't actually know any of these people. "How is progress towards the source of the likely disturbance?" It feels like Souji is already attempting to take control of the expedition, and he just arrived.
Helena Celba Helena is soaking wet.

Litterally, soaking wet. She doesn't seem to mind it though! Infact, she seems /ESTATIC/ that she is sopping wet. She has, infact, occasioanlly jumped in rather large puddles. Her smile is litterally THIS BIG.

She, however, is forced to be SERIOUS now, as she follows behind Souji, placing a hand on her hips as she scans the area... "I could go scouting again.." She says, to the Muramasa heir..

Cutscene to Helena's scouting. She is jumping in a large puddle again, up and down. She finds a giant mud pit and jumps in. She bends over, making the noses of every male in the area explode.

Helena wonders how that last thought got in there...huh. She continues to follow along, however, looking around. "So..."

She grabs Kyra into a TIGHT sopping wet hug.
Serah Farron Serah Farron looks around... looks like noone had the answer to that one. But then... Souji speaks up. When did he appear? Surely he wasn't late to his own event, would he? She listens though "... Disturbance then? We have to get rid of it I suppose?" She wonders of course, since she didn't get the details on her tasks. Just... somewhere to go, and the promise of a pay. "... How dangerous is this anyway?" She's now wondering if they had the idea that the least helpers left at the end, the least they'd have to pay.

You know, there are some people like that.
Kyra Hyral Fortunately for those here, Kyra immediately deals with one small irritant. Seems she does have some kind of insect repellent on her that has a vaguely cinnamon scent to it. It may or may not have /actually/ been an attempt at chai tea.

The rain is so thick she finds herself having to repeat herself several times for her companions to hear due to the overwhelming rain. As it beats down upon her, sluicing off her thick raincoat, she seems oddly at home. Where some other adventurers might be deterred by this weather, Kyra seems entirely unbothered by it.

She stiffens as she hears Souji Murasame's voice. Of /course/. "Murasame." she says with a hint of unease since she can already tell he's moving in to take charge of the group. "Steel's scouting from the air has taken a lot of guesswork out of the path. It's just a matter of getting the-"

Kyra squeals as Helena latches onto her, spreading mud all over her raincoat.
Caran Steel P.P.S. As for the rain and thunder: Raincoat and a lightning protection spell. Ketan is miserably huddled under the coat.

Caran raises a hand to his eyes, squinting at the distant shape. The chocobo drops down to the ground, and Caran points, shouting through the storm. "There's something that way! It looks like a large vehicle crashed or something!"
Ophelia Ophelia moves with purpose, which speaks volumes for the amount of distaste she has for the rain considering her usual laid-back attitude. She cuts through the rain with ease, water sheeting off around her as if she were the blade of a knife being driven through the storm by some invisible force. Despite being forced to take several detours due to the paths simply disappearing under the floods she makes excellent time.

Ahead of the swiftly expanding party a section of the tall reeds that forms haphazard walls suddenly shudders as if rippled by some stiff breeze. A moment passes before the plants seem to realise that their support is gone and they slowly tumble over into a makeshift carpet in the mud.

Ophelia strides through this new gap created by the sword she is still in process of sheathing at her side. She almost misses the presence of the others in the heavy rain - only her supernatural senses pick out the subtle scents of living flesh and the dull thump of beating hearts. Slowly, she turns to regard the group, crimson eyes narrowing slightly.

And then suddenly she is all smiles. "Good evening," she offers. "Nice night for a walk, non?"
Stormfall So! The adventure continues and there is progress.

Well. At least progress for the people asking how dangerous all of this is because there is some pretty hefty evidence to be seen here and about. Broken blades. The rotted remains of adventurers unlucky enough to have been pulled down by the various wild creatures and mysterious spirits that roam these haunted waters. A small pouch full of dull coins lays in the muck, only visible by a coppery gleam of one edge of one coin sitting forlorn, half submerged in swampwater.

The pounding rain is split by lightning. Another bolt flickers across the clouds and there is a smell of ozone.

A fraction of a second later.


Several bolts converge on Caran simultaniously, straining the protection and slamming to earth not too far from where he is flying overhead (Which means trouble for anyone underneath him as water and lightning do not play nice.) There is an ear splitting explosion of sound as the lightning comes to ground.

The lightning illuminates the scene to almost blinding intensity, picking out all the shadows of both the living and otherwise -- because something that is not of the adventuring party is moving in the water and through the reeds.
Helena Celba Helena looks around suddenly, dropping Kyra.

"No time for pleasentries it seems.." She says, frowning.

Something was on the edge of her awareness, thanks to her high wisdom sc-HEY DON'T LAUGH! She's still a monk, despite what you might think.

She gives Ophelia a smile, "Hey you! Long time no see, I see you recovered well." She says...and pauses, "Hey Kyra, let me handle healing duty on her, alright?" She says, thumbing towards Ophelia. Though she looks around again...

"I think we should move along, faster..." she continues. "Or at least get into a better position...though I'd prefer to get the item so I can enjoy the lovely weather more!"
Arkham Fisher Arkham waves a salute to their man in the air. Infantry might talk a lot of crap about airbornes, but that's because they love them so much. Souji gets a much more grudging nod, having all the signs of being an officer of some sort. You'll forgive her, even ten years on the military is almost her whole worldview. Still, she supposes she has her orders either way, and they're not likely to change.

Whatever response she was expecting from Kyra probably isn't forthcoming, meanwhile, as she's been broadsided by their scout? "I'm with her." The medic considers a moment. "On, on moving ahead. She can have the weather." HAving said as much as is her place, she fades back a bit to join Serah. "With this crew it could, could be very so. They're alright, though."
Serah Farron ....

Well there's her answer alright. She rather not ask HOW these people died all around her at least. And then she jumps when thunder seems to strike REALLY close by, although she didn't see where it came from. She's totally fine with moving faster! She's already dirty anyway. "So I'm guessing that's where we need to go?" The structure that everyone seems to be going toward... not obvious enough. She's nervous with the thunderstrikes, okay?

She doesn't even look at the water... if there's anything in there, she doesn't want to know about it! "I don't want to become snack for whatever made this pile of dead bodies..."
Caran Steel "Ghrk." Caran looks a bit stunned from a bit of the electricity bleeding through, his fingers tightening on the reins -- Ketan's startled by the noise, and Blackwing... doesn't seem to care.

"...Maybe I'll stay down here for a bit. Ketan, can you--" "No. Rain sucks."

Blackwing just begins walking along in the air as if it were ground. Dear physics: Screw you. Signed, magic.
Kyra Hyral "Nope." Kyra confirms, reaching underneath her raincoat for one of her guns. It is, of course, the non-regular-projectile kind. Stick with what works the best! "I'm pretty okay with fighting in this weather. I'm pretty sure Murasame is too. The others, though." She doesn't remark on how much Helena seemed to like it too.

She squints at Ophelia when Helena says to let /her/ handle healing her. Given Helena's skillset, it leads her to assume that the dark-haired woman was an undead of some kind. Maybe. Ophelia was awfully good looking to be an undead. Or it could just be that Helena was flirting with her.

"Well, for the record, I too am a 'cleric' like my sister." she tells Arkham. "I can heal. Either way, we should get moving." Too bad the water and mud makes it kind of hard to move at all quickly-though Kyra is used to running in heavy boots.
Ophelia Ophelia casually runs a hand through her hair upon being greeted and inspected, her smile carrying with it a great deal of smugness despite the miserable state she is in thanks to the weather. She holds herself with an air of regality as if she isn't ankle deep in mud. And on top of all of this she just seems to radiate authority and presence, almost like a palpable aura.

"Ah, so good to see you again, my dear."

The young woman inclines her head lightly to Helena. Lightning flares dramatically behind her in the brief moment, almost as if summoned. She pays it no mind. Her eyes drift lazily around to take stock of the people that have gathered here.

"Quite the outing, it would seem. Do you have some purpose here or is this one of your class field trips?"
Souji Murasame Souji nods to Ophelia, considering her for a moment as she arrives. "It's quite pleasant." Souji says neutrally. Businesslike. "Are you here to assist?" He glances to Helena a moment later as she greets Ophelia. IT's a 'why didn't you tell me about this person' look.

Fisher gains a faint smile. Good. Someone who attends to business. He can work with these people. Farron causes Souji to look over at her next. "Be prepared. We have much to deal with." He floats forward a foot over the ground, looking around as something feels off in the thunderstorm... But he can't pinpoint it. "Hyral is correct, we need to get-" KERKOOM.

Souji blinks at the light as he reels. The lightning momentarily stuns the scion of Ramuh, the overwhelming force enough to deal with his normal control over the element. "Let's go." Souji says, pointing in the direction indicated by Steel.
Stormfall Faster faster. Quickly quickly.

Magic, whether to speed the way or to prevent lightning from turning you into kentucky fried chocobo (with rider combo bonus) or to not get adventure suit and shoes messed up thrums through the charged storm air like a bell.

A dinner bell to be more precise.

The vehicle that looms up from the silohuette in the marshlands is a tipped over and crashed craft of some sort. Possibly an aircraft, the nose and half of a wing submerged. A giant pool of water lies at the end of the mile long slog.

At the last stretch of the journey is when someone, or rather, a great deal of someones lurch to the dinner bell. A number of phantoms scream out of the ether, assaulting Caran atop the magically snarky Blackwind. Zombies thrash from underneath and in the muck, grabbing at ankles and pulling at the group in different directions in horror movie fashion.
Serah Farron Serah Farron seemed glad that they got to the target... well for a short moment at least "So something is in there that we n-ahhhhhh!!!" She gets intterupted by zombies. Its alot less thrilling than interupted by fireworks, you can believe her on that part. She lets out a scream as she's pulled off her feet, landing with a noisy, and very muddy, SPLAT, and then another screech as she's literally dragged backward straight into the reeds. She kicks and tries to hold on to whatever grip she can find... but there's isn't much of those considering its raining and it makes everything slippery!
Kyra Hyral Massive peals of thunder hardly phase Kyra. This is normal for those who grew up in the city of the endless storm. She continues to run, sloshing through the muck with determination, whispering words to Helena every now and then. Her eyes glance over to Ophelia.

Lightning flashes and she spots shapes moving in the distance. Their rain-soaked stench betrays the fact that are not heartless but, in fact, the undead. A hiss escapes her and she withdraws a very special parcel from beneath her raincoat. It appears to be something wrapped in faintly-shimmering paper-those sensitive to magic will notice some kind of enchantment placed upon that paper.

But as she runs, her boot snags upon a withered root, unseen and buried in the muck. She yelps as she pitches forward, the parcel flying out of her grasp. The white mage lands in the muck upon her face and zombies quickly converge upon her fallen form, just like in some horror movie.

Kyra screams as they grab her and lift her off the ground. The Ramuha's hands flail out wildly, tinged with white light. Whatever exposed zombie skin they touch immediately crumbles away.
Arkham Fisher "Blood and ashes!" The starving dead give Arkham a miss for the moment, seizing instead on Serah beside her. They can't be having that; she makes a grab for Farron's arm as she goes down, struggling to keep the woman's head above water as she hacks at whatever rotting limbs present themselves. Her bladework is reasonably competent, but the angle is likely to be bad. She avoids any risky swings around Serah herself.

"Who's up?" Snarls and splashing are all around, mixing delightfully with the thunder and the screams of party members. She thinks she heard Kyra, but she's got her hands full at this second. "Someone get Hyral back!"
Helena Celba Helena f-wait Zombies?

She looks back at Souji and gives him a eyebrow. What do you mean you didn't know her?

However, she moves out of the way of the Zombies, quickly BASHING one away that gets to close...but attempts to ASSERT her authority over the horde with her use of Necromancy. However..

There was a strange BACKLASH, and she eeps stratled for a moment and jumps back, avoiding the majority of the magical backlash...

Until they all start coming after her.

She twists, she bends, she rolls backwards, and tries to keep ahead of the slow Zombies...but there ARE alot.

"Well, this is troub-Ah!" and then she is being dragged underwater. "Seriously?!" she says, annoyed.
Souji Murasame As the afterimages fade from his eyes, they are replaced with something ugly. Something shambling.

Something smelly.

Souji grimaces at the incoming undead, and yells. "CELBA! You know what to do!" He yells, dropping back to reach for his weapon...

But his disorientation was too great. The undead grapple him and pull him down, their sharp fingers digging into him and drawing blood through his suit. Souji hisses in pain, not screaming out as he struggles, caught up in the mass before he yells, "EEEEEEENOOOUGH!"

There is a low THUD as Souji unleashes a pressure wave from his body, blasting the undead back and revealing his tattered clothing, bloodied body...

And his ruined shoes. HE looks over to Helena. "Celba." Souji says. "When we find whoever's behind this..." Souji's eyes narrow. "They're all yours."


As Farron is dragged off, Souji lunges forward, and then pauses, looking back as Kyra is grappled. "You! The competent one!" Souji yells. "Get the one who was dragged off!" Souji lunges towards Kyra, lashing out with the Murasame Blade and sending arcs of deadly cuts towards them.
Ophelia The vampire takes her time in examining each of the characters presented before her. Helena she already knows from her ill-fated attempt to bring the heretical Ramza Beoulve into custody and in turn the oddly upbeat necromancer is the only person alive besides Alexander who knows her secret. Fortunately, the young girl seems inclined to keep it a secret for the time being, though Ophelia has no doubt that will change should it suit the mage's purposes.

Souji she quickly singles out as the leader here - or atleast the person who believes himself to be in charge. She does not recognize the clothing he wears but they seem to be of a good material which means he's probably got money. The sword he carries at his side also draws her curiosity. She can feel... something very familiar there. She resolves to keep her eye on him.

The others get more cursory glances, her interest quickly waning in the face of the unceasing downpour. Finally, she responds to Souji's question with a dismissive tone.

"Hmm. I suppose I could lend a hand. We seem to be heading in the same direction in either case."

She follows alongside the group as they make their way through the winding maze of water and reeds doing her best to stay on firm land when possible. This is not her first time traversing through these swamps. Infact, the Fens used to be a part of her homeland and she had spent much more time cleaning out the ghosts and risen corpses here than she cared to remember.

Unfortunately, due to the presence of others, she is forced to tone down her vampiric powers to avoid detection. Helena has warned her that these people might have specific cause for prejudice against her kind and she's inclined to believe her. People hating the undead isn't a terrible stretch. It is because of this, however, that she is unable to detect the sudden surge of malevolent energies until they are almost on top of the party.

Ophelia comes to a sudden halt, her hand coming to rest on the hilt of the katana at her side. "Careful. We may have visi-"

Too late. The unmistakable music of human screams erupts in the air, easily drowning out the din of heavy rain. She sighs softly. How annoying. Predictable, but annoying.

Steel flashes as another blast of lightning knifes through the sky, thunder clapping harshly almost instantly to attest to how close the blast was. When the blinding burst of light fades Ophelia is no longer where she was. Posed dramatically with her sword half sheathed, the samurai smirks and slides the blade home. The soft click of the hilt meeting the scabbard sets off an explosion of force among the zombies clustered about Helena.
Caran Steel Caran rides along, and then PHANTOMS. "Aah!" Caran draws his sword and -- the ghosts fly past him and attack Kyra?! And zombies are dragging of Serah! "Hey!" Caran rides up to the reeds, and begins hacking them away with his sword. "Give her back!" If he can just get a clear shot at those zombies...!
Stormfall The exposed zombie skin crumbles into white ash. The putrid flesh turns to nothing but ash and sodden splinters of bone. So the zombies who HOPED to drag dinner and go are inevitably disappointed by Kyra burning through their hands and the undead dropping Kyra to the heavy muck. They flinch away from the white light, and then turn from Kyra to join the hoard assaulting Helena.

Arkham has his work cut out from him, hacking away at the undead flesh which without pain signal just continues to pull and drag and squeeze even when lopped from the body they were attached to. However, the dead and rotten meat within the rotten leather and metal adventurer shells eventually give way, giving Arkham a straight shot for pulling up Serah and rescuing her as the zombies pulling her ALSO lose interest and go after Helena. She, for one reason or another, magic or design, is now Delicious Entree and Special Friend Number 1.

The sunken pool from which the vehicle is submerged is absolutely /swarming/ with -- something. They are too sinuous to be fish. They crackle and spark, agitated by the fighting.

They squirm and wriggle through the crevices of the downed aircraft and nip at anything, zombie or otherwise that gets too close.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This aircraft? (Possibly hovercraft from design) is full of eels.

There are a lot of zombies. A great deal of zombies, and all of them now are focused on the very simple task of dragging Helena into the deepest body of water available (the pool of eels) and holding her down there for a nastily long time.

They are knocked sprawling and the surrounding swampland is flattened by the pressure wave, but the zombies that tore up Souji's suit join the ones that left Kyra and then are sliced. They are minced very finely by the blade which hacks through the dead flesh with supreme ease. The armor and leather is harder in some respects.

Ophelia's blade is no keener, but much more flashy with the scattered explosions that happen. These explosions of force happen all around Helena, but there are so many that they fall in thick soupy pieces. Torsos and arms and the undead form and impromptu dog pile of the truely dead which may be difficult to get out from under Or just... sticky and unpleasant.

Caran gets a few choice whacks in before the zombie hoarde is mostly dispatched. There is an eerie silence that falls. Whatever triggered those zombies also knows that you are here so-- reinforcements, especially in a place this big and this haunted, are.. very likely.

Something glimmers in the farthest depths of the pool, where the lightning eels (most likely unnatural for this area in the way of all strange anomalies) swarm the thickest.
Kyra Hyral Undead hands claw at her coat, pulling at her clothing, trying to get to Kyra's pale, almost slightly grey, skin. Claws shred even the waterproof fabric. Though Kyra's own magic seems to present the antidote to the undead condition, there were just too many of them.

Several things happen at once. Souji lunges at her and for a second, her heart stops as she sees the Murasame Blade lasthing towards her. Not one strike touches her, though, the heir's strokes cleaving through the undead around her with expert precision. Rotted bodyparts, neatly severed, splash into the muck around her.

Then, what remaining zombies there were, promptly disregard Kyra and her savior, turning to focus their singleminded aggression against Helena.

Dropping to her knees, Kyra rushes ahead to her discarded parcel and scoops it back up. "Thanks, Murasame."

Hopefully Helena can hear her somehow. "Helena! Heads up!" Kyra roars and suddenly swings the parcel around her like a sling, the enchanted paper unravelling away. Contained within? A giant chunk of pure sodium.

There are a few seconds of delay before it explodes. Not that it was really needed, after the help of-no, who are we kidding? There is ALWAYS time for more explosions.

Back up on her feet, Kyra runs along again, though first to retrieve Helena from the untoward zombie aggressions. "Are those eels ahead?"
Caran Steel Serah is saved! "Hmph." Caran relaxes slightly as the zombies are dealt with.

And then a new threat rears its slimy head: LIGHTNING EELS. Caran looks at the water. "Nope." His free hand lifts off of Blackwings reins, gestures, he takes a deep breath... and then exhales a cone of freezing cold over the water! Hopefully freezing at least some of it with the eels stuck inside, or something!
Arkham Fisher Better dying through science! Arkham manages to concentrate on her, yes, duties while various circles of hell break loose all around her. Even without getting flashy, though, she makes good progress; the dead seem distracted, suddenly, and she manages to cut Serah free of them readily, while they all shamble off towards the head of the party.

From ahead comes a shouted order, "Get the one who was dragged off!" Arkie responds, "Aye," and proceeds to ignore it until she has Farron free. Lifting the woman to her feet, the medic looks her over briefly, but aside from some mood damage Serah seems to be alright. /That/ done, she searches for for Hyral, who... is already swinging again. "Done, sir," she calls, utter deadpan.
Helena Celba Helena is about to be dragged under...


"Well...that was not how I wanted to get that favor repaid." She says, with a mischevious grin, and looks back up towards Ophelia with a wry grin, "I was hoping for something more personal.." She says, with a playful tone, and looks back down at herself. "Siiiigh. All wet and messy, and not having fun at all..." She says, and turns towards the horde.

"Alright, time to be serious." She says finally, her eyes sharpening.

She slowly, takes the glasses off her face, and slides them onto her chest.

Her fists drive foward, aiming into one Zombie, her dark power flowing THROUGH it this time, aiming to swallow the entire horde with a flash of darkn energy.

"I underestimated you once, it shall not happen twice. If you WISH to talk like civilized people, I will accept terms. IF you wish to be barbaric.."

"You will find that I am not as refined as you think." Before she aims to take full control.
Souji Murasame Souji breaks free of the undead, and he pauses, seeing Kyra huck a parcel. The package wrapping comes free, and his eyes widen as he recognizes sodium oxide. "HYRAAAAAAAL!" Souji yells, having aced Chemistry (like everything else), and he dives for cover. "CELBA, LOOK OUT!"

After the explosion happens, Souji looks back up from the tree he hid behind, dusting off ash from his shredded suit as if he had much of one left. "Tch." He says, shaking his head.... And he moves forward quickly, leaving Celba to deal with any remaining necromantic issues. They ARE her specialty, after all.

He looks down upon a hovercraft which is full of eels. He feels like he is missing something here, and he frowns. He raises a hand, about to blast the water with lighting, but he stops. Electric eels. Not likely to be as effective as he'd hope. "What we're looking for seems to be down there." Souji says. "Someone have a plan for dealing with this swarm of... eels? This isn't the proper time for sushi."
Helena Celba Helena looks at Souji, "My plan involves, horde of Undead." She says, simply.
Souji Murasame "Undead horde is a plan." Souji nods, not seeing a problem with this. "Make it happen."
Kyra Hyral "I say we just throw our alts at the eels, Murasame." Kyra asides, "That'll get rid of them. I mean, uh..."
Ophelia That's the problem with zombies. They're not very smart or terribly durable but whenever they show up it always seems to be in vast numbers.

Ophelia turns to survey her handiwork: one giant pile of dead (again) zombies. The grin is returned with a coy smirk as she stalks closer to assist Helena but it seems like she's already got something in mind.

"Hmm. I think that could still be arranged," she offers.

The surge of necromantic magic combined with the strange explosion cuts her off and she is forced to shield herself from the effects of both. Her eyes dart to the eel-infested water once the coast is clear. It would be very /very/ easy for her to deal with this problem - but not without revealing herself.

Ophelia shakes her head at Souji with a vaguely apologetic smirk. "I am afraid fishing is not my calling."
Serah Farron Serah Farron phews as she gets released... she doesn't know why, but she's free at least, and slides back to her feet... all muddy though, but that's the least of her worries, between getting dirty and being zombie food ~_~ "Thank you..." she turns to Arkham and Caran, that combined their work to remove zombie hands. She blinks as they seem to be going for someone else though. She charges up her Blizzara spell, aiming to turn the rain into ice so that the zombies would get less traction and let go of Helena... if she already hasn't gotten out of it on her own at least.

Electric eels... sounds like bad news... "Think I can freeze the entire 'aquarium' they are in?" She points her finger at them, for anyone that cares to answer to that one.
Stormfall Freezing cone of COLD go!

The pool freezes over entirely with the sudden drop of temperature, a thick crust of ice freezing the eels and a good part of the pond. The thickest crust is where the cone of cold originated, with the edges becoming wet and ragged towards the sunken vehicle and the other edge of the pond.

Not exactly skating rink material, but that seems to have decreased the numbers by some amount. The rest have retreated sluggishly to the very bottom of the pool, actually clustering underneath the frozen over part in an almost solid nest of interlocking sparking eels which are quite agitated and so have made the surrounding water shockingly unsafe.

There is a pull as necromantic energy flares, then extuinguishes itself. Something screams in inhuman frustration out on the fens, but they are some distance away. Enough that the task will be well done before they can make a personal appearance.

A horde of zombies will do it, through the magpie principle of 'Oh shiny' --/however/ -- Zombies, being not the best tools in the shed (and some of them not even having heads to contribute to the headshed) are pretty easy to distract 'shiny' with sparking eel. So a lot of zombies go down into the pool to wrench forth the shiny thing-- and a great amount of blood clouds the waters underneath the ice cap as they wrench apart the eels and generally cloud the waters which makes them bumble around trying to find a shiny in the bloody waters. All that blood is /sure/ to attract predators of some type, and pretty soon.

Also turning the rain into ice-- is something with good news and bad news. Good news. It would give any zombies less traction. Bad news: It gives everyone /else/ not already flying less traction. It is abruptly MUCH colder in the area from the combined ice assault, bloody slicks of ice crackling and the storm thrumming almost directly overhead. There is an ominous rumble. Another strike may be imminent.
Kyra Hyral Screaming the name Hyral will one day become synonomous with the warning of IMPENDING SCIENCE. That is Kyra's dream. After the explosion has passed, she is quick to catch up, standing there in what remains of her rain coat, her clothing beneath slowly becoming soaked.

Kyra herself does consider serious options for retrieving the shiny thing down there, in spite of the eels, but she finds herself leaning towards Helena's plan and using the zombies to do it instead. What she does notice is the abnormal amount of putrid blood this generates and immediately grows weary. "Hm, these are almost prime conditions for the creation of a black pudding." she remarks, trying to remain still as the ice suddenly makese the terrain even more treacherous.
Helena Celba "Yes. That was a great idea." Helena says, muttering as the COLD starts to take her. It reminds her of a less pleasent time...he mood drops. Kyra has seen this before, she might want to stand between her and Serah, because Serah was likely to be the target of farther frustrations.

Helena had a skill for crulety.

No plan seems to survive contact with the real world, she thinks as the Eels and undead seem to get into a turf was going to be annoying to fetch it out, but at least the Eels are dead and won't be a problem...nobody likes eels. Even EELS hate EELS. They are the worst thing.

She smiles at Ophila...well, that was certainly something to increase her darkening mood, "Aren't you a dear...sure." She says, accepting the offer.

She also gives Kyra a stare, "Please don't jinx us."

"Hey you." She points at Caran, "Do something to clear the water.." She attempts to see if she can see through one of the eyes...senses...of her zombies so she can direct it better.
Serah Farron Serah Farron fortunately left her sprinter shoes home, so she won't 'slide faster' either. But Still not a good footing... well, fire wouldn't have done much, and thunder against lightning eels doesn't sound smart. And Water? Nevermind.

She turns around and reaches a hand out to hold herself steady against something, as she moves toward the others.

She blinks at Helena "I wasn't aiming for you! Just the ground!" She defends herself, looking pitifully sorry there. She casts another spell... if she could use Fira to at least warm up Helena and remove a bit of the slippery. Under the rain might not have too much effect, but its all she can try as they inspect the hovercraft more.
Caran Steel Caran smiles in satisfaction at the frozen eels, oblivious that he may have inconvenienced some people. He looks up as Helena adresses him. "We may have a bigger problem... Ketan!" Caran ignores the water for the moment to cast lightning protection on himself and two of the nearest fellow adventurers, while Ketan... slips out from under his robe and flies up into the sky. "HEY! LIGHTNING!"

Fun monster fact: Ketan is immune to electricity and petrification because he's one of those weird random monsters with non-obvious unexpected immunities.
Arkham Fisher Eels are delicious. You grill them with a little soy and ginger. Not the electric type, Arkham will admit. She's with Helena on the weather, and would be giving Serah dark looks of her own if she wasn't busy trying to find her footing. Her iron-shod heels sink into the ice, and grant her solid purchase for the moment; time to warm up a bit.

Nothing so dramatic as Serah's second bout of 'helping'; Arkie can't handle fire, anyways. She turns her back on Serah's pyrotechnics, and pulls her hood tighter over her head until the glow fades. No, this will be a simple matter of taking all the water that's on her, and sending it over there somewhere. An elementary task for an elemental mage. Semi-dry, now, and merely being pelted by sleet, she closes in with the party proper, and surveys the ruined craft.


Arkie is on the far side of the group from Caran, but she too glances skyward, and sheathes her sword. Best to not be a tall conductive thing.
Ophelia Ophelia can't help but shake her head as the spells begin to fly. Well that's one way she supposes. Not a lot of coordination going on here. The cold doesn't seem to affect her in the least, however, and she casually wanders over to the edge of the lake to watch with fascinated amusement as the zombies lemming into the water to mutilate the horde of angry eels.

It takes a great deal of effort for her to contain the beast within at the sight of so much blood. Despite herself she allows her tongue to dance across the surface of her lips at the thought of tasting it. Maybe she just really likes unagi?
Souji Murasame "That's ridculous, Hyral." Souji replies. "Next you'll say we should throw pigs at them or something."

This fourth wall aside complete, the Murasame Heir looks to the others as they attempt to brave the mass of eely doom with undead and ice. The frozen situation causes Souji discomfort, but such is life. The more important thing is that he's not properly garbed for cold weather. The cold weather suit is back on the ship.

Souji moves away from the group slightly at the mention of another potential lightning strike, silently wishing he had the foresight to bring one of those strange lightning-eating constructs with him that they found under Goug. That would show these damned things a thing or two.

"My powers are just going to interfere with what you are trying." Souji mentions to the others. "If we could remove the water or protect someone from shock, they could easily retrieve what has fallen in that water."
Stormfall 0Blood in the water.

Mud churned up. The flailing limbs of the zombie horde as they mindlessly rake through the muck filled bottom for the shiny. Shiny shiny. Everywhere, the eels and Zombies are going at it like West Side Story only with more biting and less choreography.

Another lightning strike goes 'HEEEY KETAN' and like old bros, there is much a high-energy five exchanged. The lightning strikes Ketan multiple times and then leaves after catching up with the latest scorch. Always good to have a random monster handy for diplomatic reasons.

And there is more blood to be had as the zombies eventually wrench up something that is a shiny and is not a bitey thing of sparkliness and delicious unagi.

Whatever controlled the zombies is getting close, and it's actually sort of torqued. Well-- that would be a charitable word for it actually. One zombie, headless and without a left arm emerges from the pool with a fist sized crystal in their left hand, crackling storm energy flooding out from it. The zombie spasms twice and falls neck first into the muck.

It is abruptly dragged backwards and into the water by.. something. A flash of grey and green and scaled flesh. And big. VERY big. There is something.. something that also lives in drowned swampland and wouldn't mind chomping down on the occasional zombie. (Although would probably eat fresh meat much more happily) --

WARNING: Crazed Crocodiles

There goes that Dinner Bell again.

Several crocodiles explode from the surrounding landscape, driven into a dinner frenzy by the blood in the air. They bite and thrash at all and sundry that they can reach.
Caran Steel Ketan then flies back down and gives Caran an unhappy look. He's a wet cat. You can imagine exactly how unhappy he is. Caran gives him an apologetic look and then CROCODILES! Blackwing flies up, Caran holds a hand out and downwards. "Blizzara!" Magically-summoned ice spikes deal with any crocs foolish enough to stand under him!
Ophelia Ophelia continues to stare at the blood-stained froth on the surface of the lake as if enthralled by the sight. She is finding it very hard to pull her gaze away from the carnage and worse she can feel the dark curse in her blood beginning to grow more insistent. Her lips begin to pull back unconsciously, her fangs slowly being bared. Fortunately, between the rain and the overcast skies, it's very difficult to notice such a small detail.

And speaking of wickedly sharp teeth, there's suddenly a whole mouthfull of them flying up at her!

Ophelia snaps out of her blood-induced trance as the first of the crocodiles explodes from the water in a classic attack lunge. It's long narrow snout clamps down harshly around her shoulder, earning a shrill scream of pain from the young woman. She goes down in a heap, trying to scramble backwards, only to find that her legs have also now become entangled in a nasty row of serrated enamel.

With a collosal jerk of their powerful heads, both crocs heave the struggling samurai into the water. The three of them vanish from sight quickly beneath the tepid surface, leaving only ripples and yet more blood floating on the surface.
Serah Farron Great, going from Zombies to Crocodiles. She eeks, and decides that ice it is. Fire won't do much probably! Neither would thunder, more dangerous for her. When a crocodile tries to snap at her, she freezes the inside of its open mouth, hopefully locking it there, and keeping it away from trying to make a meal out of her. "Is there SOMETHING that won't try to eat me here!?!
Helena Celba Ahah!

"Well there yo-" Argh...magical feed back. "Okay...whatever is controling the undead is getting /closer/ and probably <GOOSEHONK>ed off." She says, completely not lady like. However, Ophelia is dragged into the water! Oh nos! Her lady date.

Souji goes in for the crystal, so she...

Moves for the Crok, aiming to try and PUNCH it right in the snout as hard as she can, to try and get it to let go...or break it's nose. Either is fine. She then moves to give Ophelia a hand up, "I say we are both very dirty now..." She gives her a wry smile.

Then she looks at Kyra...hmmm...Sel, Ophila...and Kyra...

"Oh right, we have to leave don't we? I can daydream later." She mutters. She's ignoring Serah for now.
Arkham Fisher Warning! Crocodiles! They catch Arkham while she's waiting for the lightning strike that Caran's actually already handled. That's one of the reasons they hate fly-boys, you never know what they're actually up to. So, no, she's prepping a wind ward when a croc catches her around the knee and attempts to wander off with her. She screams something exceptionally indelicate and lands on her hip.

The reptile has four clawed feet on the ice to her one boot and bare hands, but the going is still slow, luckily. She attempts to twist 'round, to draw her shortsword, but can't make it, leaving her only with her knife. Arkie folds at her waist, trying to jab at the thing's... uh... eye, or nose, or something, they have hides like trees, don't they. Her knife leaves points of frost where it touches, crackling and even spreading as she continues her frantic assault.
Kyra Hyral "But Helena, that's one of the monsters you're looking for, isn't it?" Unless the point of Helena's monster shopping list was to torture other people by making them seek a bunch of dangerous critters. It would not be beyond Helena to think up that. Idly, she sidesteps so she's vaguely between Helena and Serah.

She knows Helena's busy with necromancy and zombie control. Nothing can really be done to help that, so she instead turns to face the rest of the swamp, a trio of test tubes nestled between the fingers of her left hands. Fortunately for all involved, she's not flinging around pure sodium anymore.

Her attention is rapidly stolen when she spots a crocodile rizing from the muck. She backs away from Souji's vicinity and throws one of the tubes at the creature hard enough to break the glass. Contained within is something extremely corrosive to living tissue.

Whether or not this is a genetically engineered organisim or a failed lunch, however, is a mystery. "COME ON!" she bellows in challenge, "WHO ELSE WANTS TO BE RENDERED INTO SLIME?!"
Helena Celba Helena pauses at Kyra, "Point." She says, "Good point. If you find one, hit it until it is hurt and I'll zap it back to base.."
Souji Murasame The mysterious samurai gets hauled off. Souji can't focus on that right now, because crocodiles are coming to do the same to him.

Fat chance. One goes high, the other goes low. Souji turns, swinging his blade upwards, and the pair of crocodiles are repelled, sent reeling in an Active Parry. "I don't have time for you." Souji says, as he slashes forward, past the pair. A moment later, the crocodiles gain red traceries through them and vanish in a haze, disintegrating Oppa Random Monster Style as he powers forward.

One of the zombies had what he was looking for. He will have it. He lashes out, cutting the hand off of the zombie as it turns. The crystal is launched up into the air, and Souji allows it to arc upwards and fall into his palm.

"We have what we came for." Souji says. "Quickly! We should fall back before we are overwhelmed." There are people here he actually would dislike to see turned into undead food.

That would be a terrible waste.
Stormfall Crocodile Dislike ice.

They snap and snarl and one of them with it's jaws frozen open whines, thrashing out at Serah with claws as it literally LUNGES at her legs, attempting to knock her down and bash it's head against her stomach, ice straining as it tries to close it's jaws in vain.

A hooded figure with a skeletal hand appears in a miasmic fog atop the ruined aircraft. A double necklace of teeth and bones can be seen underneath the tattered swampland attire (Boy. There's no school like old school. Go go traditional spooky raiment)

As they appear, the zombies boil out of the pond. At least the ones left over by the crocodile infestation. Although the crocodiles are still tearing into them, they taste pretty awful and there is so much better food right here. The zombies also hold their own, tearing some of the crocodiles apart through the virtues of teamwork.

The headless, armless or legless host crawl, drag or roll themselves along through the water trying to reach the adventurers and swarm them. Meanwhile, a crok is punched SQUARE in the nose with a breaking noise that can probably be heard for a mile even through this rain. It's a sound that sends other Croks to wincing into their late afternoon teacups and sports pages.

It also does the trick, freeing Ophelia from the grip of the crocodiles as they backpedal and retreat with broken snouts. The Frost blade Poke Poke Pokes at the dragging Crocodile that is trying to drag Arkham and it lets out a tea-kettle SHRIEK as the frost blade stabs right into it's eye through it's brain and kills it instantly.

However, there is only just enough time to get free and get a step or two away from the dead crocodile before it surges and twitches to miasmic life. Mouth opening and closing mindlessly it HURLS itself at Arkham again with single minded ferocity.

The giant crocodile that is slammed by Kyra's failed lunch turns to green slime with a petulant whimper, as if this is a fate that should not be inflicted on even a man-eating super crocodile. One or two other crocodiles whimper and withdraw from Kyra, but the dead crocodiles-- ones torn up by the zombies or killed by the adventurers have no such qualms and start to advance again with sluggish persistance.

Yes. Now would be a good time to fall back.

Helena's player rolls his syes, seriously?! Another one! Stupid sidequests. And he starts pressing shoulder buttons.

Helena starts to try and retre-CHOMP.

She pauses. "I have a crocodile on my leg again don't I?" Helena growls...

And then punches the UNDEAD Crock in the nose as hard as she can again.

Then proceeds to try and run away, and maybe even succeeds!

Arkham Fisher You don't have to tell Arkham twice, Souji. Hell, you didn't have to tell her once, she was already backing out as soon as she was freed from her croc-- limping a bit, but she can sort that out somewhere less exciting. It's such a nice change working under a competent commander for once.

However, she's got a job, here. Continuing to retreat from the undead horde, she scans the party for anyone in worse shape than her. Everyone seems mobile, though; no reason for her to be a hero. "Retreating!" And she does.
Ophelia Ophelia lets out a muffled cry as she vanishes beneath the surface of the lake. Her body goes completely stiff, eyes locked wide in horror as she realizes what's just happened. Out of sight from everyone else, now she is completely free to unleash her powers. With her vampiric strength she can easily rend these beasts asunder bare-handed and feast on their still-warm vital essence.

That is, if she were not completely paralyzed. She's never quite understood the connection between water and vampires. All she knows is that being totally submerged renders her utterly helpless. For a human, such a fate would mean drowing or being ripped apart by hungry water beasts. For an immortal such as herself, it means an eternity of silent confinement. No one will ever find her underneath the murky waters and peat-moss.

The crocodiles continue to shake and roll her about, trying to tear away ragged chunks of flesh small enough for their throats to swallow. Her armor and general unnatural hardiness make this an impossible task, however, leaving her to suffer the indignity of being slung about like a ragdoll.

Suddenly, her head surfaces above the water. The reasons for this are not immediately clear. Was she accidentally thrown out of the lake? Did the opportunistic predators see something they found more appetizing? Or did her refusal to submit delicious meats make them grow bored? Whatever the case, she is intent on getting out of the water as quickly as possible.

It is not until she clambers to her feet that she realizes an arm is attached to her own. Ophelia turns to dislodge the troublesome appendage, assuming it to be some dismembered bit of zombie-flesh, only to find that she is staring into the face of the small necromancer.

Realization dawns on her a moment later and she has to quell a sudden urge to hug Helena. "Yes... I suppose we are, aren't we?" She grimaces. "Let us leave this place. I've had my fill of swamps."

The vampire turns and rushes out of the lake's shallow edge, feeling a surge of relief as her feet hit solid (sorta) ground once more. She doesn't stop except to cut down any zombies or crocodiles that get in her path. Completely drenched in mud and water, even her ornate finery and lavish armor look bedraggled and ruined. This is going to take a long time to wash out.
Kyra Hyral There is a look of fury on the redhead's face as she takes threatening steps at the other crocodiles that were eyeing her up. It was unfortunate that in this case, the only person she could really help was herself-but hey, with Souji around, that was still doing pretty well. Being less of a burden anytime was always a great feeling for Kyra, who wasn't all that gifted in the physical department like her classmates were. Her ferocity at least helps clear the way until some fool crocodile hits her from behind.

Angrily, she throws the second vial down upon her attacker's snout, rendering it into her second example. She limps away for a few seconds, pauses to down a potion to correct the limp, then bolts with the rest of them.
Caran Steel Souji shouts something about having what they came for. "Huh? But we didn't even get to the vehicle!" Still... he'll trust his schoolmate to know what he's talking about. Folks seem to have the monsters held at bay -- for the moment! Caran eyes the horde... He doesn't think he can quickly gather the kind of power it would take to deal with them all, and there's an enemy caster here too now...

"ONE EXIT, COMIN' UP!" Blackwing lands and Caran focuses his mind, putting out distractions as he weaves ancient magic found in dusty libraries, wielded by few others, to warp space. A doorway appears before him, translucent and glowing white -- a matching doorway appears several hundred feet away, in the direction they came from. "GO! GO GO GO! Don't let any monsters through!" And then he turns away from the door and readies his sword to help defend it. Guy with the teleport spell is the last one through!
Serah Farron Serah Farron wants to run away. Really! But things keep getting in the way! Zombies, crocodiles, mud, thunder! Today's just a series of bad events really! And her exit get cut off, but she doesn't give up that easily either. Even in the rain, a fire spell at point blank should still dissipate them readily enough for her to move out!

And look, teleport spell! Now that's useful! She pushes through the hordes, as she stumbles toward the open portal, and nearly falls into it as she trips on a misplaced zombie head. Well, that's one way to exit c.c Try to picture how it looks on the other side of it.
Souji Murasame Souji has the intel. Now he has to get back to the base. WHERE IS THE BASE. The Murasame Heir falls back, trying to make some distance as fast as he can so they can get the thing to a safe place.

That gets interrupted with he appearance of the Horde. Souji looks over the mass of undead and beasts and the Necromancer, and he frowns.

He levels the Murasame Blade at the man. Yeah, you.

A moment later, he becomes a blurred tornado of destruction, the black blade shearing forward as he dives into the mass of monsters, cleaving his way towards safety...

But not without incident. Wounds open up about his body, claws and teeth drawing blood and rending flesh.

Finally, he breaks free, standing on the power of will and X-Potions. He looks up, pained, and he leaps for the portal Steel opens. There's no room right now for anything but escaping so the mission can be successful.

He'll just have to call the Ame-no-Torifune to wherever he ends up.

This scene contained 67 poses. The players who were present were: Stormfall, Kyra Hyral, Souji Murasame, Serah Farron, Ophelia, Arkham Fisher, Helena Celba, Caran Steel