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Seige on Pair Dadeni
(2013-08-13 - Now)
Gummi ship research in the Golmore Jungle has attracted a seemingly endless horde of undead! Can Arthur, VALKYRI, and friends defend the test site?!
Avira Deep in the Golmore Jungle is a very mysterious place discovered by Arthur Drover. Gummi blocks seemed to display anomolous movements in the vicinity-as if they all wanted to launch themselves somewhere. Working as partners, Avira along with VALKYRI had ventured deep into the Golmore Jungle, fought off a gigantic Ochu, and established a camp around this strange site.

Then the undead started to show. Despite Arthur's precautions in the forms of traps set up in the jungle, the undead had bypassed them, some by simply crawling up through the ground, and converged upon the test site. The frequency of attacks has been high and the numbers have varied wildly. Sometimes they come in massive groups that crash against blockades like tidal waves. Sometimes it is a lone dracolich or undead mindflayer that comes. Sometimes there is sweet, merciful downtime, allowing one of the fighters to slip out to replenish supplies or bring in new people.

It was Avira who insisted on escorting people outside the group to the site. She's trying hard to keep it a secret since she knows a whole list of people that would come along just to mess with their research. Right now is one of those times where she's steadily making her way back with whoever she has in tow today. For now, she's on foot since it made it easier to navigate around Arthur's traps.

Back at camp, a reminder of the huntress remains: a giant beetle the size of a small car. He is of the Steelclaw Beetle species and native to this area in particular in Ivalice.
Arthur Drover Drover himself oversees the defenses. He has some practice managing a workshop and marshalls the "likely local lads" who had taken his hire offer, as if he were the master teaching apprentices. He isn't one for hand to hand combat - hopeless with a sword, useless with magic. Arthur relies on traps, and a delay sufficient to set and deploy traps. Against human foes this has given him an edge on familiar ground. Here against the mindless undead, endurant to traps meant to dissuade living monsters, he was having more difficulty.

Holy water could be decanted, but his wife is the potionmaster to Arthur's forge-song. There is an impromptu forge - little more than an avil dragged in on a barrow earlier in the day - and he sometimes hammers at it.

In the middle of the camp is The Soup. One does not simply touch the soup. One does not inquire into the origins of the soup. The white-bearded man in the little hat who tends the soup is shard but kind, and You Do Not Touch The Soup. You drink it up and have gratitude for the way it warms you from the inside out.

Drover's nimble fingers clasp the tin mug as if it contained the elixir of life, and he drinks in deep, satisfying gulps.

The old man tips his hat, happy to see the smith take on some nourishment after the last attack.

Arrows dot the field outside, as if target practice had been going on - but these had gone through the targets made of mushy flesh.

The area around the camp has been pushed back to give sight lines, and Drover sits down on his forge.

There WERE soem apprentices in the camp, and the steel they turned out was lacking, in his studied opinion. He had been tactfully taught, after some scolding and fallen faces, not to express it.

His colossal backpack is sprawled on a wooden table a short distance from the massive tureen, which Mr. Farnsworth stirs with a pensive, reflective expression. For once, Arthur feels yougn by comparison. The blueprints on the table near the backpack are of gummi ships. Suspended from the canopy above is a ship in a half-state of construction, gummis transported in at painstaking cost laid out and sorted into rows. It was hard going. "Avira!" his brass-voiced bellow might carry all the way into the woods, he of course having so easily forgotten when his partner in crime is busy elsewhere.

The beetle is being given a wide berth. Creeeeeepy.
Vespa "There a staggler over there.", Vespa says bring her massvie axe down on the lone undead cutting vertally in two. "Where are they all coming from", the maid wonders outloud carrying a load of supplies on her back. She following a few feet behing Avira being careful as so nothing follows them back to the camp. She is going to be here for a while so she brough a few supplies with her. She notices the bettle. "Nice catch Avira."
Raiya Fujihara This was a most strange land to Raiya Fujihara. The wandering warrior from the land of Wutai now trespasses in this foreign land and walks underneath the canopy that the trees form. The local wildlife seems agitated and rightfully so with undead creatures prowling around. Thankfully, Raiya's sword is always kept sharp and proves to be enough to keep the woman safe as she delves deeper into the forest.

Occasionally, Raiya notices the signs that people might be dwelling nearby. How curious to choose such a dangerous place to camp. The samurai decides to chance finding the settlement rather then risking sleeping out in the dangerous jungle alone when night falls.

Fate seems to smile upon the warrior when she runs nearly literally into Avira who was busy escorting a group of people somewhere. Not wanting to anger fate, Raiya decides to join her on again, off again ally to their camp should she be welcome. There was safety in numbers and too much time had passed since they last spoke.

The camp itself is nearly as odd as the surroundings for Raiya is now well-versed in gummi technology or of most the machinery that is present. Her lips close tight as she looks around the area warily. Just what has Avira gotten herself into these days? Seeking an answer, the samurai paces quickly to catch up with the huntress. "Avira, your talent in gathering a colorful collection of allies seems to be intact even after all these months. I am afraid that most of them are strangers to me as I am to them."
Avira "Oh, yeah, I'm pretty proud of Herbie." Avira grins over her shoulder at Vespa.

The steelclaw beetle has a homemade saddle strapped to him. Yeah. Avira /rides/ that thing. He's also pretty effective against the plant-based enemies that come to attack, such as the undead malboros. Herbie as he was called was a semi-familiar sight to most in VALKYRI-Avira had tamed the beetle some months ago.

It was actually pretty fortunate to come across Raiya on her way back. Avira knows quite well that the samurai was a very effective fighter and a superior swordswoman. She considers herself fortunate the ronin was willing to join with so little convincing-but at the same time...

"This would make three favors, wouldn't it?" she says wryly to the blonde. "I hope I'll get some chance to pay it back. It always seems like you're the one bailing /me/ out whenever we meet."

Her shoulders tense a little when she hears Arthur calling out her name from deep in the forest. Fortunately for him, she's in earshot at this point and walks a little faster, winding her way into camp.

"Oh, there's an easy way to fix that." Avira says cheerfully, "I'll introduce you. You've met Vespa, right?" Swiftly, she gestures behind her at the axe-wielding maid. "Up here we have one of my newer business partners, Arthur Drover. He's a master synthesist and an up and coming gummi engineer."
Vespa "Hey there.", Vespa says as she walks into the camp . "Nice to meet you Arthur.", she yawns a bit. "Now if anyone doesn't mind I'm going to take a bit of a nap that walk took more out of me than I thought and I want to be well rested when the real troulbe starts."
Arthur Drover Arthur looks sheepish before the new women, in his smoke-braised overalls and archer's gloves, awaiting Avira's approach for a bare moment before launching into: "We need to push out of here. The defenders can't fight this forever. But we don't have the numbers yet. It is good that you brought reinforcements."

Arthur composes himself, and plucks a few satchels off a pile by the table. These he slides toward the newcomers. "Welcome to The Cauldron. Inside you'll find healing potions, dental hygeine kit, silverware, one magical power restorative, an assortment of gummi grenades, a small phial for life or death emergencies, a second, hidden phial, for after you've drunk the first phial which is in fact sugar water too early and regret it, and an egg made of gummis with a pattern of a phoenix on it which will in fact incinerate anything that even thinks about touching it once you have hurled it."

He's gone through this speech before, and there are a stack of such kits seated behind him.

"Reimbursement is as per Avira's standard rate with combat, danger, and repair bonuses. All payment can be taken out in the services of the Heart's Desire Synthesis Shop, Main Street, Alexandria. The name speaks for itself."

He waggles his eyebrows for effect, and gasps as Jebediah, angel in heavy disguise, whisks up with soup for the weary travellers.

As if a mental checklist or computer runtime routine had resolved, Arthur slumps into a chair, grasping his own cup like a lifeline and taking another deep pull. "Give me good news, girl."

Vespa's statement, only now making its way through his mental process, is answered with: "Tents are 'round the side, sign the board outside the door and you may need to double up." A pointed finger, and a not unkind smile now that the business is done.
Vespa "I'll just stick with my axe.", she says lifting if over her shoulder. Thought she does walks over and takes one of the packs anyway. Then she heads towards one of the tents to get some sleep.
Raiya Fujihara Raiya tips her straw hat up slightly to get a better look at both Vespa and Arthur. She offers a brief bow in greeting before gesturing towards herself. "I am Raiya. A pleasure to meet you both." With greetings done, the samurai turns towards Avira with a small smile. "You already return the favor by offering any hospitality in such a place. But perhaps we could speak in private about how we may have mutual goals." She replies before taking a step towards Avira's mount. Mmhmm. She remembers him alright, but she still keeps her a healthy distance away from the creature.

The veteran warrior returns her attention towards Arthur when he goes off on his little spiel about how things are run and where things were. Hmmm. It seems that this one is used to being in charge. "I do not require much in the way of lodgings or comforts which is fortunate as there does not seem much of either to spare. I have had much greater lodgings and much worse. You shall not hear a complaint from me about 'doubling up'." The former soldier explains succinctly as she continues to look around. "I would decline the offer of any sort of pay as well, but there are others who need such things greater than I do that I must earn it for them." She offers another bow towards the two. "And for that, I must give my thanks for such generosity.
Avira "There's more where that came from." Avira frowns mightily at the thought of packing up and leaving. Though it was an attractive option in the face of an unending undead assault-"Packing up isn't in my playbook. Once we get more people watching the camp I wanna get out there for some surveying and figure out where all these zombies are coming from. I've been to this jungle several times before and the undead presence has never been this bad."

She sidesteps for a moment to seek out her own cup of soup while Arthur does his usual 'welcome to camp!' sphiel. She's heard it before, got the magical exploding gummi phoenix egg hidden in one of her pouches. It has yet to get used, half out of fear of setting large parts of the forest on fire.

"I told my friends in the Twilight Detective Agency about the zombie problem. We'll probably get some of those guys coming in too so maybe they can help figure out what's causing this seige. Hopefully Isaac Hanlon can make it. He's a wizard."

She pauses and turns back to Raiya, watching her for a long moment before nodding. They hadn't seen eye to eye before...but that was a long time ago. "It has been a while and a lot has happened; I agree that this is a discussion we ought to have. I'm pretty curious as to what you've been up to, Raiya. Maybe later tonight? I'd say 'when doubling up' but I suspect Maira will want to bunk with me. Or Mercade if he shows up today."

There's a little coy smile on her face at that last bit.

She gestures at the partially-completed ship. "In short, we're studying gummi blocks. Turns out they can do quite a bit!"
Arthur Drover Arthur actually chuckles at the Samurai's formality as Vespa departs, but explains himself shortly after with "A professional, excellent. Well you can help then, and if you want your pay forwardrd to charity, or given to anyone else, just instruct me when the time comes." The weight on his shoulders doesn't lessen, but it shifts a bit with Avira back. He defers to the woman then: "Do ye want to modify the designs before we begin the final coat of gummis and start shaping the cockpit mount? We won't be able to launch it with this attack going on. I know you have people you'll want to witness the maiden flight."

He brushes his fingers across some loose calculations laid out on the design - apparently something about maximum gummi capacity.

"When I say push out, I don't mean leave. There is no environment you can't subdue - but we need the source. You can't cage something you can't trace. But we need to know this place won't get overrun, now that we're using it for our experiments."

In response to Avira's explanation of the possible uses of gummi blocks, he pulls a few jewel-bright objects from his pouch. "Each contains a spell at novice strength, enough to aid those like I who abjure magic, when needed."

He hurls one of the "fire" gummis into the forge, where it explodes with crimson light, further blackening the heart of the convection stones and throwing back shadows in the increasing dusklight.

"Any questions, we're here to answer 'em. I think I'm going to go scouting tonight, Avira. I'll need you to mind the wall. If nothing else, I can bury charges at strategic rock faces and set them off."

He pats the long silver flute which hangs from his belt, meaningfully, then lapses back into slurping almost-silence.
Raiya Fujihara They sure did not for the longest time. But much has happened since they were able to put that mostly aside and even more has happened since -then-. The samurai smiles when Avira approves that a discussion was in order. There were private matters to discuss. Raiya nods her head in agreement with Avira. "Later tonight will suffice." The last little thing brings a knowing smile across Raiya's face. "I hope you do not intend to shelter all three of you at the same time." The lodgings are glanced to. "I do not believe the shelters would be able to effectively contain such activity."

The organization Raiya had in mind to patronize was not quite a chairty. Terrorist organization was a more common moniker for them. But labels could be such a fickle thing. "Should I earn adequate pay for a proper donation, then I shall speak with you on the specifics just as you have alluded to doing so," intones the samurai to Arthur before nodding curtly. Arthur's explosive display of one possible use of gummis causes Raiya's left hand to instinctively lower towards the hilt of her blade. Explosives? Shinra used such things in great numbers during the war against her home country. This has left her untrusting of such things. "Are such things safe to house inside the camp? The destructive power of such things could be exploited by a saboteur." She states with another look towards the fire. Wutai used similar weapons in the end, but they also embraced the Shadow Lords. There were still quite a few things that Raiya disliked about her country.
Avira "Er..!" Avira turns bright red at the thought of implied threesomes, "Well no that wouldn't be a comfortable fit at all!!" She turns even redder, "Erm, what I mean to say is...we're not. Well. Nevermind!" She tries to laugh it off.

"Well at least this attack is good for something." Avira says a little too cheerfully as she moves to circle around the incomplete ship, looking it over with a critical eye. She peers at the designs as well, eyes pausing upon the calculations that Arthur had scribbled. "Hm, if there's any way to reduce it's mass along the z-axis-" that is the horizontal, as looking down the nose of the airship, "We might want to try that, especially if maximum gummi capacity is an issue."

Arthur clarifies what he meant by 'push out' which brings a sigh of relief to Avira. "Ah, right, I understand now." she confirms, giving the man the chance to demonstrate the awesome technology of gummi grenades. To Avira's knowledge, Raiya did not use magic at all so it could actually be of use to the samurai, should she choose to use them. Though given Raiya's reaction to Arthur's pyrotechnics, perhaps not.

Avira gives Arthur a thumbs up, "Then we shall hold down the fort." she declares. "From undead. We've yet to have an intelligent saboteur in here that could take advantage of the gummi grenades. I'm hoping that Arthurs traps could deter such a person."
Arthur Drover Raiya's comment about the weapons draws a considered glance. "Your question is valid, but them as are here have the vouch of Avira or myself. And a single fire mage holds more potency in one word than one of these things. Sabotage comes in all kinds of ways, I'd rather the weapon be to hand and find it at my back than the ghost of the kid who didn't have it be on my shoulder."

Arthur smiles faintly. "Most of my traps aren't lethal. The exceptions are all activated intentionally. But in a pinch I am capable of detonating the front plain and bringing the river crashing down on us. In a life or death situation that might buy us time."

Fingers dig among the scraps of paper, coming up with a stub of a pencil. A few quick sketches along the sides of it. "As far as we know, gummis seal tight. That means diagonal attachment should work. We don't need an L-shape when a Z will do just as well."

He makes some terrifyingly bold modifications to the pencil subsidiary of the sketch, crossing out lines and causing seals less than an inch thick to take form.

"I've been looking at it from a position of traditional structural integrity, thick hulls, strong weapons. Maybe we need to trust our materials more. Trust their seal won't break and we'll remain safe while inside."

His fingers draw sharply incised lines across the nose, making an already nimble craft into a needle-nosed thing skirting the edge of reasonable.

"If you're bold enough to fly it, I'll ride in it with you, I guess."

He doesn't look happy about it, but his eye is on the problem. Arthur can't easily tolerate an outstanding problem.

"But where are they coming from..." he asks the air as much as anyone. "And how can they ignore my traps?"
Minerva Minerva has been here but where as she been lately did she get lost? She wasn't directly here when things really did started to get bad, it's rather concerning. Did the zombies get Minerva? The monk being twisted by the unlife would not be a happy thing and knowing one's luck? It would retain much of her speed and power.

The first hint of what Minerva has been doing all this time? A number of the undead freeze solid in a wave around something then there' a burst of lighting which causes them to shatter, that's not going to be fun to clean up later as Minerva appears leaping into the air and vaulting for the walls which she'll aim to land on.

"Infernal creatures...."

Minerva likely could use a shower and her clothes a trip to a really good cleaner but she's alive and doing quite well all things considered.

"...That I do not know!"
Arthur Drover An arrow is nocked in an instant and travels with quicksilver speed. The movement is as natural as breathing and there is no pause or halt. The bow goes from back to taut in one motion. The arrow is one of the special ones. It whispers quiet death as the black feathers leave a trail of violet ash. It goes past Minerva to the right side, too wide to have been aimed for her, but the air of its passing is immense as a low-swooping dragon and she might have felt it.

A casual observer might almost have thought the synthesist misjudged her - harrowed and muddied and spouting a mighty yell as she was - for a saboteur. Until he says "Hello, Minerva." in a voice calculated to remind her of their last meeting, and then lowers the bow with a "now that's settled" finality.
Raiya Fujihara Raiya, the stoic samurai, still seems to have it. She still knows a thing or two about teasing despite the long weeks on the road. The ronin smiles broadly as Avira first turns red and then tries to laugh it off. "I never discerned the merit in turning such a personal thing into a group activity," says Raiya most unhelpfully.

The woman from Wutai is decidedly old-school when it came to stabbing matters. Avira's explanation and approval of such weapons draws something that sounds likea grunt out of Raiya. "It takes great skill to wield a blade, but to throw one of those?" She now shakes her head. "Such destructive power should not be so readily available. You must understand why I would fear for fall into the wrong hands."

Arthur's reassurance that they are not so deadly draws a hesitant nod from Raiya. "As you say." The further talk about the traps and how they were not working against the undead that great causes Raiya to furrow her brows. "Perhaps it is not the question of how they ignore the traps, but a question of what could be done to draw the creatures into the traps?" She supposes after a brief pause.

Minerva's leap causes Raiya to adopt a combative stance before she realizes that it was not an enemy that leaps towards their positon. The samurai once again adopts a more neutral stance. A slight bow is given to the newcomer after she finishes with her grandiose entrance.
Avira Raiya. Raiya is not helping! "I'm not looking for that kind of group activity." Avira says hastily.

Noddding along just shy of the actions of a bobble head figure, Avira interjects, "Perhaps you can turn something up during your scouting later. I'm curious to see how the traps aren't stopping them either. I'm not even sure if they're setting the traps off to begin wi-"

Avira's words are interrupted by the crinkle of ice from her monk friend. "Minerva! Nice to see you. Minerval, this is Raiya. Raiya, Minerva. Raiya ran into us while we were coming back and is happy to help." Arthur's reaction goes uncommented upon. It really does seem like he was readying himself to deal with a saboteur. Which minerva is not. But it's also Minerva and a few days ago, /well/....
Minerva Minerva is a up and surprised as she's got a bow aimed at her, it could wait? She got a shot taken at her. She's almost moving to attack but it seems that Arthur was targeting something else.

"...Yes that is settled."

Minerva turns about her fist burning into flames as she does so, moving in to make ready for more undead.

"They could have something leading or directing them. Some of the restless dead in my world still had their minds left to them. They may have a leader that is able to command them against us."

The idea to lead them into a trap is also a valuable idea as well.

"Sorry that I am late and well met Raiya!"

If Minerva is aware that she may be under suspicion he gives no hint if she does.
Arthur Drover Arthur rises from his seat, nodding and seeming to accept Minerva as camp defender. "I'll leave you ladies to it, I need to go get my kit ready. I will be back before the changing of first watch. Make sure there is someone canny on the wall. If they don't spot me coming back I shall clip them round the ear."

A smile, the big bag scooped onto his back as the older man drags bow and a satchel behind him.
Raiya Fujihara "Neither am I for I am decidedly selfish when it comes to that," quips Raiya with a smirk as she takes a stride closer towards the fire. She reaches her armored hands out towards the fire before Minerva and Avira. "Yes. Well met. My heart is gladdened to see fellow warriors among those here." The ronin says with a firm nod. "But I should claim my own sleeping area while there still is room. Should I not be resting, feel free to stop by." And with that, Raiya politely bows before heading off to find her own piece of the pie to claim.
Avira Avira's mind wanders for a moment to the Horned King, "I did recently encounter and battle a lich. This could be a personal thing against me. I doubt it, though, because if it was that person, he would have made himself known by now." She taps her chin, "Unless he's trying to be subtle. Anyway, take care, Arthur, and stay safe."

Raiya steps away for a moment to claim a sleeping area. Avira nods, "I'll be by a little later to chat." But only if Raiya wasn't resting, of course, goes unsaid.

Casually, Avira withdraws the Spine and settles into position with Minerva. "Happy to join you tonight."
Minerva Minerva gives Arthur a nod before she watches him pull back for the moment. She looks over to the other as takes a breather for the moment.

"It would be wise to rest when you can. GO you been at the wall longer than I have."

she looks back to Avira for a moment a she listens to her friend speak of an actual Lich. She tilts her head a little bit as the additional information is given.

"Tia a possibility my friend. Then again with how vast the worlds are now? One can only guess. Glad to be back on the wall, it's quite the story how I got out there..."
Avira "By all means." Avira says graciously to her fellow mercenary, "Please elaborate. It'll be good to hear a story while on watch..."

This scene contained 24 poses. The players who were present were: Raiya Fujihara, Avira, Vespa, Minerva, Arthur Drover