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No title.
(2013-08-28 - 2013-08-29)
No description.
Arthur Drover Arthur Drover feels the weight of age as he drives the piton into the rock. He does it with a practiced swing of a hammer. He abhors melee weapons, but he can get behind tools. The piton itself is an eye-loop designed to keep a rope snug against a surface. A kind of metal key with a circle of steel that has a belay clip inside. It is standard spelunking or mountaineering gear. He drives six of them in a short time.

The small pack train consists of a large bug, a few seasoned warriors mostly on chocobo back, and the synthesist himself on foot. He's not a seasoned rider. He knows chocobos, but mostly from the raising or skinning perspectives. He is wearing not only his pack, but a second bundle of equipment and the moment they had arrived, he'd set to work.

The site is a cave Arthur found when scouting. A bundle of rope tucked in the shadows inside remains from when he'd poked himself inside and lowered down. But then fled back out again at the number of zombies - slow but numerous. He's running the ropes - a kind of sturdy silvery braid - down the ledge. They fall away into a fathomless darkness, but there is a distant slither when they strike ground.

Drover turns and tosses the ends of all six - caught by the eye loop already so they can only be pulled up, not down into the darkness - to Avira. "Lash them up and let's get started. There is some nasty stuff in there, we don't want to stay longer than we have to. Any questions, ask now. Then we need to find someone with magic enough to help me mend it."

His bow and arrows remain, but the synthesist shucks his pack entirely and pushes it into the shadows by the cave mouth. He has one small satchel, his quiver, and nothing else. One gloved hand grabs each of the six ropes as he begins spreading them out so any descending adventurers won't be uncomfortably close together.
Firion Firion was having fun. The cave that lay before them was likely filled with unspeakable horrors. He'd arrived with a cheerful smile, nonplussed at the prospect of imminent death. Not that he was in any hurry to die, after all, he had some a dream to make reality.

He watches the synthesist at work, his look respectful. While he was growing up, he was raised by the Fynn's blacksmith, which among other things, had given him a healthy respect and a great amount of practice for any tools of the trade. In Firion's case, weapons. In Arthur's, tools. The spelunking gear would almost certainly be needed for what lay ahead. Firion had come on foot, as with all of his walks of life, he decided to regard everything as simply another facet of his training.

As for questions? Nope. Didn't have a one. It could hardly be said that he wasn't curious, but he didn't voice them at the moment. Instead, he looks at the others, before beginning to take position next to one of the ropes at the ready for rappelling. And then he waited for the signal that'd let him know to start descending. As he did, he idly looked at Arthur's bow, nodding in satisfaction at the workmanship. He decided it was of excellent quality after a while.
Avira Following the exchange on the radio, Avira was quick to stop her faithful mount. When not in the midsts of eating or tearing zombies apart, Herbie is actually a pretty mild creature. Avira corrals him easily as he mills around, stopping him to evidentally have a 'conversation.' The exchange is low and uses a lot of simple phrases to describe the task she wants to set the Steelclaw Beetle to.

Herbie is marched up to the edge of the ledge that they're scheduled to rappel down. Another conversation between her and the beetle happens, this one involving lots of hand gestures. Smoothly, she turns and catches the ends of the ropes and busily sets about to tying them around the girth of the beetle, weaving them around the strap to his saddle that is already present.

Contrasting with Arthur, Avira seems to be packing quite a bit more gear than him. The truth is she usually carries this much stuff with her and her body's pretty much adapted to hauling all sorts of supplies around with her. Hunting marks can sometimes amount to days in the wilderness. She also had a few teachers that enjoyed springing unexpected challenges on her so it helped to be prepared.

Grasping the rope, Avira plants her feet against the ledge and starts to lower herself backwards into the abyss.
Maira Maira stands at the top and peers downward, pursing her lips slightly as she tries to decide if it would be safer to go down the way they were, or just toss herself in and use magic to slow her descent. She knows which way would be quicker, at least.

Deciding, for once, to be conventional, Maira gets all hooked up then starts her way down, wishing she'd worn pants. Her hands slip, and she ends up channeling a burst of air to slow her descent anyway, so, lot of good that did.

Grumbling, Maira brushes herself off, re-summons her smile, then looks to Arthur. Questions? Only one. "Should I give us some light?" she asks.
Arthur Drover Arthur nods to Firion, signalling that the warrior may begin his descent. The smith himself keeps his hand on one rope, and gestures Maira forward. Drover usually carries much more gear. This might have made Avira wonder. The bottom of the ropes, as he arrives once Avira has hit bottom, comes out into the answer to this question. There is a pile of about ten bags stuffed with beeswax candles and a few torches beside them. Flints, steel, phials of holy water, spare ropes, and something glowing and purple in tiny stone form. There is also a satchel of gummi grenades. "I belayed these down with help from the local lads when we first came up with this plan. Light would be welcome, if you like, m'girl. Just be aware we don't want to draw crowds, keep it muted."

Drover's hands dive into a bag and he pulls out a candle and a torch. The torch is struck suddenly with a flint, a practiced move. The oiled leather and cloth catches slow and glows dimly.

"I lack your magical power, of course. For those of us who need to, do this."

He holds one candle's wick to the torch, then holds the /base/ of the candle to it also. The wax becomes melty, and arthur slaps it vertically on a nearby cave face.

"I laid drip-traps of holy water to give us about ten feet of breathing room. They were expensive and this is for today only. We might be in a rush when we're coming back. We'll use the candles to guide us back, they might also distract the residents."

He nocks an arrow, and cants his head to indicate they should listen.

The groans blend perfectly with the cave, they are a symphony. "Wait until you see this."
Avira It is a little suspect, in fact, and as they descend, she starts to ask, "Say, Arthur, don't you usually have a lot more stuff with you?" Maira's fall doesn't even seem to phase the scarred warrior. She knows, very well through previous experience that Maira's capable of manipulating wind magic and even flying a little with it.

Her answer comes swiftly just as she touches down and notices the mountain of gear that Arthur has piled down here. This did explain a lot, come to think of it-like how the camp seemed to be running out of supplies a bit quicker than usual lately. "OH." Yes, Avira HAS been keeping track. It's not something she usually does but during this expedition she's been endeavoring to learn a thing or two about logistics.

Avira scoops up the satchel of gummi grenades and a torch. The latter remains unlit. The satchel is attached to her belt and slowly slipped open. Her movements become extremely quiet as she too listens in the cave.

The acoustics, she notices, made it a little difficult to pinpoint direction. They seemed to come from everywhere down here. Nevermind their large numbers. Avira gestures with her head wordlessly in a sort of 'lead the way' motion. She makes it clear that she most certainly has his back, nodding to her gummi grenade reserve.
Firion Wrapping his hands around the rope, he turns in one motion, clamping both legs down on the rope. Casually he spins around to be facing the cavern wall, offering one last salute to those still arrayed upon the top of the cliffside, before he begins to rappel downward. Hitting the bottom of the floor roughly, he picks up one of the bags, sorting through the contents.

He grins at Arthur though, when the man offers him a torch, "Magic? Who needs magic?" Instantly, one of his weapons, the mace, appears within his hands. It then bursts into white flames, illuminating his side of the cavern surprisingly well. It sure looks like magic, but Firion's statement before seems to stand in denial of this.

He mentions the drip traps, and the plan, and the man nods in response, "Resourceful." But then he falls quiet, as he listens to the groans, readying himself for what is likely to come.
Maira Muted light. Alright, she thinks she can do that, at least for now. Things are going to get considerably brighter when the zombie burning inevitably happens however. Maira herself goes up in flame, considerably tamer than her usual display. Her control is most certainly getting back up to speed. She's merely outlined with flame, making herself a lantern. To Firion, she giggles quietly and gives a thumbs up. There's just something very likable about him!

Maira nods to Arthur about the traps (gee, he is always so well prepared!) then listens, eyebrows rising. "...If only we could get them to groan in harmony..." she says softly, now contemplating what a zombie musical would be like.
Arthur Drover Firion's expert drop draws an approving smile. His own technique had been less bold and slower. Arthur knew about the logistics problem. He'd been tempted to do this mission in a more commando fashion. What clinched it? The two trips. They would be back again and preparation now would save lives later. He knew he could take some of the cost out of the fee for the VALKYRI warriors. Avira understood he handled acquisitions well enough - but there would be a fight later. It was costing them. But science always did. Besides, it was a shared debt. "Today is not the time for my usual tricks. One smelting catalyst in here and it might make the problem worse." He'd be proud if he had recently noticed her interest in the practice. Running a shop kept the smith in tone when it came to practical logistics. Larger actions, like running his accounts, he left to professionals and a system of bartering debt.

Arthur pauses for a moment, watching Firion call up the flaming mace. He stares very intently at the motion. He plays it back in his head a few times, then he nods, filing it for later.

"Good work, Maira." is his response to the outline of fire. "Now come forward slowly."

The synthesist moves around a nearby cave wall and aims the arrow. Its head has a chased pattern of a phoenix crudely carved in the head. He draws his arm back, but even as he is doing this the other companions would have time to take in the scene.

A vast black city. They are on a cliff outcropping above black waters, terrifyingly deep. Purple mist rises from the stone itself. It is impressive architecture - and on every roof, every cornice, down every street and in the palisades of the palace itself, are the dead. Some mutated, some hulking, all slow and ponderous. Ancient beasts made of the essence of darkness that lives here. There is a cave roof overhead. Something sealed this kingdom off from the sky some time back.

There are passages that go underground, this place is no friend to light or safety. A gentle slope, dappled with faintly glowing blue water, descends toward a few melted piles of ash - and lower down, zombies butting their heads against walls or sitting in place.

They are sedate. Arthur's arm is tensed, the bow held at an angle. He looses and it makes a faint whoosh, lost in the drip and ebb of the vast darkness. It impacts against a boulder on the east side of the Necrohol. This is lit with sudden flame, the arrow driving deep enough to make a slight dent then stick.

"That boulder is sitting on top of a holy altar. There's a stone in there, I saw it from my spyglass in the east district. We need to get in. And we need to not get overrun. I am open to plans."

He melts the base of another candle and slaps it on the wall, as a zombie, lit with blue flame, tries to climb through the liquid sitting beneath the bucket (its tiny spigot giving forth a bit at a time). It does not make it through.
Firion Impressive architecture? That's an understatement. Were they not trying to keep the Undead horde sedate, he might have whistled in awe. But..for the purple mist of corruption that permeates this place. Even so, he still seems quite cheerful, and nonplussed by this reaction.

Arthur makes his move, Firion watches his arrow sail through the air, and it drive into the wall with a nod of satisfaction. "Impressive aim. Anyhow, I can keep them at bay for some time but... my style of combat might draw even more to us, unless I hold back."

A sword snaps into his hand as the zombie approaches, but it doesn't make it past the drip traps, nor the ethereal blue flame. He smirks, chortling a little, "Well that's one way to do it."
Maira Maira moves forward cautiously, smiling to Arthur as she does so.

That smile immediately fades as the dark city comes into view. Maira reaches a hand up to cover a gasp, her eyes wide as she takes in the scene. What was this place? What had happened here? The rotten darkness festers in a way that seems to make her very soul sick. She steels her heart, holding onto the light there, and lowers her hand from her mouth to speak. "Those poor people..."

Maira looks back to the others, rather at a loss for plans. She's feeling a bit overwhelmed by the implications of this place and what could have happened here.
Avira Science came with a price. That price was fat stacks of cash. Avira, who had been saving up to build a regular airship prior to the discovery of gummi blocks, understands these costs fairly well. Though the sustained costs of supplies in fighting off an undead horde was pretty massive. There could be cash flow problems for VALKYRI in the future if it kept up.

Avira stops abruptly when Firion scoffs at the need for magic and whips out what is OBVIOUSLY a magicaly glowing mace. Her hand strays from her satchel for a few seconds to facepalm.

Creeping along after Arthur, she carefully leans forward to see what Arthur is pointing out to everyone-though not after admiring that arrow. Given its totem, she can only extrapolate what it does when fired. Those thoughts will return later because like the others, she's breathtaken by the majesty of the city and volume of undead below them. It was a city's grave.

"Hmm." Avira looks to the ceiling, then back down to the city below. "While it would pain me to mar such architecture, we might have to risk blocking off areas of the city with stones. That or we make our way /over/ the ceiling to the east side and try to extract it from above. The gummi grenades could provide some cover fire while the stone is extracted. Then we leave the same way we came-from above."

She pulls the Spine and drives it through the skull of a zombie. "Just a thought, though rather nutty."
Arthur Drover "Prior preparation. Every enemy defeats itself, we exist to give them a chance to do so, without giving ourselves that chance." He takes a deep breath and begins to move down the slope, bracing one hand against the wall and looking unpleasantly at the mix of grave earth and holy muck on his boots.

"If I did this again I would have a lever you could pull to wash clean water over it so I didn't have to step in undead slurry. Mariel is going to murder me if I track these in the house."

He keeps the bow nocked but moves toward the bottom of the hill, considering Firion and Maira. "The two of you could probably scorch us a path and we could rush right in. But let us keep you in reserve. If we can do this by stealth, the pub stories will be more impressive."

His voice is husky and directed, but he still glances unsteadily over one shoulder. That sword draws his eye. "I have seen that technique before, a boy from Mysidia. And a warrior from Bevelle. I will plumb its depths one of these days. Be ready, your plan might end up being the right one."

There is a tunnel leading into the city, past the gate and it is choked with the dead. "I don't want to touch the water or even breathe this air too long."

Maira's shock is visible and brings him pause. "We will have time to find out what happened here after our immediate problem is gone." Their first true obstacle comes in the form of a group of dead shambling in slow circles on one of the diagonal side streets. He'd hoped to aim his way down there and avoid the main roads.

A theory or two comes to mind. Did they die where they stood and come back? Were they risen through the earth? "We won't fix the whole altar, just pull out the reliquary. We'll assess the damage and stick to the outskirts. Nothing in the core of the city will sense us if we stay out here. As to this group... I am open to silent disposal - Avira, they will be wetter than usual this close to the lake. I believe this may be a time for your specialty and your stealth."
Firion "Every enemy does defeat themselves." He smiles cheerfully, looking over at Arthur as he adjusts the jeweled bandana upon his head. "...usually before the battle even starts. I'm fine with the stealthy approach. I'm not so prideful that even I think that we can take on that great a number of them head on."

He tcks as the Spine drives its way right through the skull of the zombie. "Nice thrust. We still need to have that sparring match some day."

The azure clad warrior then looks between Avira and Arthur, he doesn't like the idea of Avira risking herself needlessly but.. he'll go along with it. "Well, let's at least come up with a signal for us to intervene, just in case she gets into a spot of trouble."
Maira At mention of her and Firion lightning up a path for them, Maira frowns, but nods. It that is necessary, she knows that she can do it. But as Arthur suggests Avira use her skills more stealthily, Maira nods her agreement. Firion adds his suggestion, and she's agrees with that as well. Maira is so very agreeable.
Avira Alas, the 'Mission Impossible' extraction plan is not on the docket for tonight.

"I've heard rumors about this area." Avira confides in Maira and Arthur, "Something about a city being completely wiped off the map. Archades might have been involved. People tended to not want to talk about it."

Arthur instead suggests that she clear the way forward in a silent fashion and after a moment, she nods, passing her unlit torch to Maira and sheathing the Spine. "I think I've got this. Don't worry, my friend-" she directs to Firion. "I will be careful. A little light in my direction would be very appreciated."

This is all that's given before Avira quietly stalks down. It's hard to tell that she's even moving because she does an excellent job at moving silently. She might even dip out of sight of the others, but gradually, there is a faint crackling noise and the temperature gradually begins to drop.

Arthur would notice the zombies nearby the perimeter have stopped moving. They've all been frosted over and are firmly frozen to the ground.
Arthur Drover "Warrior." Arthur uses the formalistic title in Firion's direction, but without any irony. "She is holding a bag full of signals. Our last one until the next supply trip into the void, but good enough I should think." At that moment, his bow drops from his hands with a clatter. The best laid plans.

Something is wrapped around his ankle. A long tendril rises from the lake and washes fetid water over them. A slow, decaying malboro rises up onto the shore and begins breathing copiously. The lake shore near the tunnel conceals its own raft of threats. How many things lie dead, or worse, growing in there?

The mouth is a bladed mess, the whole thing is half fallen apart which makes it all the more scary. A second tendril joins it and both attempt to embrace the entire group in a massive bear hug.

"Now is the time. Now is the time for fire and weapons." His voice is simple but rings with tones of bronze as he whisks out his belt knife and dives to scrabble ineffectually with the part of the tentacle mangling his leg. Quiet and smooth isn't going to happen in this immediate area until this is dealt with, even though Avira won a lot of style points just now by silently stopping a threat.

No plan survives contact with the enemy. This leaves Avira out of the circle of danger, and with a moment to assess and respond - and Firion, Maira, and Arthur gasping one of the most noxious substances in nature unless they think very fast.
Firion Firion doesn't take it as condescension, he just nods to the man. He was the leader and thus the man with the plan. If he said it was good enough then he trusted that Avira had adequate resources.

And then suddenly, Marlboro. /VWORP VWORP VWORP/ Final Fantasy battle theme starts to play. And it had their leader... and the very air had become one of the worst poisons known to man. "Didn't need to tell me twice. Hold on, Drover!"

First thing's first. Make the air breathable. A white aura lims his body after a few moments of concentration, before he begins to burst into flames. The purifying flames would at least make it so that he could stand... some of the poison to come, but even with that in mind he'd be overwhelmed soon. So second. Freeing Arthur.

A knife rises out of his boot, attached to a length of rope. He turns fractionally, before tossing it towards Arthur's leg. It begins to wrap around him, but strangely the knife doesn't ever make contact with him. Instead it changes direction, telekinetically, before he attempts to drive the knife into the same tendril that is holding onto him. Firion digs his heels in at that point, trying to keep Arthur from going towards that cavernous maw. Once the line is taut, he releases one of his hands, and another dagger appears in his hand. A quick throw, in an attempt to further assault, and hopefully sever the tendril around Arthur's leg.
Maira The girl smiles proudly as Avira moves stealthily off, drops the temperature, and freezes a bunch of zombies in place. Ice is good for stealth. Fire, not so much. Fire is not stealthy.

Then a horror rises from the deep. Maira is most certainly not going to try to make friends with this one. This is very much a /purge it with fire!/ sort of situation, and she wants to make this thing gone so quickly it would make Faruja proud.

Maira's magic is never far from her grasp, so it is reactionary that she lashes out with a bright burst of flame toward the mangled malboro, the flames that wreath her brightening as Firion too goes up in flame. Two burning torches is better than one, right?
Avira As Avira starts to move away, quietly freezing a perimeter of zombies in place-which incidentally do serve as a makeshift wall against the undead further inside the city. She doesn't manage to get very far before she smells a very /distinct/ bad smell.

Being a huntress, Avira is very familiar with the significant bad breath of a malboro. She has, in fact, been hit with it before. Whirling, she manages to spot, in the halo of light surrounding the three others, the slinking tentacles of the malboro.

Her reaction is swift. She runs for the group, hands clutched together. Blue light gathers between them, quickly manifesting into an ice spell she hurls at the main body of the undead horror. It isn't the subtle frosting-over from earlier. This is flat out combat magic meant to destroy.
Arthur Drover The light rises so brightly, that for an entire district the dead turn and make their approach. But they are very slow. The mobility of the "invaders" might be to their benefit, if they can extricate themselves. Maira's flames have slight trouble taking hold in the sludgy wet mass. It burns a bit, the heat drying large portions. The beast lets out a screech from the depths -a kind of wet warble.

Arthur feels the tendril loosen when Firion digs into it, but the creature redirects its energies toward the weaponmaster.

Leaping loose, the forgemaster reclaims his bow and nocks an arrow. It is made with some kind of purple-hued steel, barbed and nasty.

His arms tense just long enough to get maximum draw. He doesn't hold, he looses in a practiced muscle flourish. He knows he might have moments.

Arthur has been holding his breath. His eyes are watering, the earwax has literally liquified in his ears, an unpleasant process. The focus on bodily discipline being employed here takes all of his strength.

The arrow describes an arc which carries it into the creature's mouth. It drives into one of its teeth, splitting it in half. The creature's scream is very pained. That won't take it down, but it made him feel better.

He staggers away, knowing he might soon have to take a breath. One hand moves over his mouth, holding it shut, while the other flails for his silver flask. This is going to hurt.

Avira's magic follows Maira's, hitting the humid mist created by the heat of the fire mage removing the putrid lake water into its component parts at the speed of magic. The ice collides with this vapor and freezes it into a hammer of ice that falls like bladed hail. Even molecular energy stops, but only in a small part of the creature. There is magical potency to a malboro, and this close to the cloying purple vapor there is something unnatural keeping it animated.

Avira's actions in freezing enough of the periphery zombies has "frozen out" the possible stragglers, with only a few crowding into the area. Their muscles are decayed and their bodies soggy, they are more annoyances than threats.

But the plant monster, colonial home to lichen, moss, any manner of perverted, twisted growth alongside the stench of ambient death - that is a threat.

It emits a colossal wave of that befuddling, dangerous halitosis.

Just in time for Arthur to find his flask, and take a swig larger than any consumed in combat into his still-empty mouth. He fears he breathed in a bit of the vapor.

His mouth is full of a potion so potent that such a big swallow would make him quite sick.

The malboro hurls the remnants of a rotting boat at Firion - perhaps still outraged that he cut off one of the ends of its tentacles, that's gotta add insult to injury due to the contemptuous ease with which the warrior wields his weapons.

The smith holds the torch up in front of his own mouth and spits the potion onto it with a determined expression.

Somehow the liquid flows AROUND the flame, as if it were a little halo of gravity - a planetoid of aqueous grace in faint green light. Then the color of the flame becomes an unsettling purple.

Then a stream of fire shoots at the Malboro's face, meeting its breath coming the other way and igniting the methane in the vapor. Arthur's cheeks bulged out with the force of air sucked in then expelled on mass until his lungs are burning with the sudden air exchange and need to project the liquid outward. But he's bought them a moment before it can begin really puking the stuff out.

With the side effect that the plant beast looks even scarier, absent eyes, its mouth full of fire that is being made worse by Maira's destructive magic, any fluids the fire burns off quickly turn to rivulets of ice, giving it the appearance of weeping.

And Arthur doesn't stop breathing fire.
Firion Arthur was freed, unfortunately the sudden lack of a taut rope caused him to stumble backward. Then came the colossal wave of bad breath.

No amount of holy flames was going to burn /this/ away. He doubled over, and fumbled for an Esuna potion, which he unstoppered and downed, while simultaneously trying to hold that breath.

That distraction was all the creature needed to catch him with a broadside of rotting wooden boat pieces. Driven onto his back, he lays there dazed for a while.

Eventually standing up, he looks extremely chagrined. And a bow appears in his hands. Five arrows are already nocked, as he pulls the string back, and looses. They streak towards the Marlboro, adding to the Synthesist's efforts with small blossoming explosions of white holy flame.
Avira Avira cringes suddenly as the now split-toothed creature screams. If this commotion didn't have the attention of the nearby undead, well THAT noise certainly did now. She can hear them all moving for them now-there's no way the four of them can fight off that many...right? No. No, they had to or they'd all die. That was unacceptable to Avira.

But at least, for now, they have a wall. Avira stops abruptly, not getting any closer to the Malboro as a combination of Maira's fire and Arthur's fire breathing set the creature ablaze. It was already problematic to fight, what with the tentacles, but on fire made it a very unattractive melee combat target.

Keeping where she is, she forms another ice spell in her hands, though this time holding her arms as if she were holding an invisible bow. Right where an arrow should be, a shaft of ice forms and once it has, she releases the projectile into the malboro.
Arthur Drover Arthur stops when the additional flame appears, the malboro will have trouble resisting a more mundane fire now that it has been dried and then frozen. He can only hope the molecular damage is sufficient. He considers the situation, looking at the ungainly and now very beaten up Malboro.

The smith ponders a moment on the nature of adventurer-monster interaction. Certain instincts become so ingrained after a while. "YOU KNOW, WE CAN JUST RUN." He rolls into an alleyway nearby, travelling in the direction of the fallen boulder and the shattered portion of the necrohol. It was using vines because it was too ungainly to pursue through the shattered city. Duh. Especially since Avira just /pegged it to the ground with a massive icicle/ and Firion's arrows are pinning its tentacles.

"I feel extremely stupid." He averrs, letting the residual potion in his mouth protect him from the bad breath as he turns his head aside.

"Maira can cover us with fire from one direction, you two punch a hole, I'll lever it out of the altar. They're slow. We're fast. Keep openings, be ready to bolt."

Standing just outside of its tentacle range, Arthur looks at the hulking beast unable to lever itself out of the water, and makes this exact face: ":|" before firing a quick arrow into an unfrozen zombie that was having trouble getting through Avira's wall. Fire in the background reassures him that Maira is frying some zombies to give them openings. This is not going in the after action report.
Firion Firion actually does not mind running. He just won't ever leave anyone behind. Seeing as everyone is still standing, and ready to roll, then he just chooses a different option against the Marlboro.


You drop three hundred and seventy five gil.

Firion has no idea why he drops gil, but it is the rule of early RPGs so WHY NOT! So after he makes his initial frowny face, he cheers up as he bravely runs away from the Marlboro.

Punch a hole? He can do that.

The aura around his body suddenly flares into life. The white hot corona leaving him untouched by the flames. And into his hands, he fast equips both a sword and an axe. The mace and a lance rise up and begin to attack of their own accord. And then....Firion proceeds to attack, running roughshod over one weak zombie after the other. Some of them look far more menacing and deadly, but instead of fighting them with all of his strength and risking being overwhelmed, he just runs, leading them on a merry chase as he drops even more gil on the way.

And it works, because they /are/ slow, and he's serving as a beacon which basically states, look at me! Follow me! From one alleyway to the other, he just kills off all the low level zombies that get into his range, while avoiding all the stronger ones. And once they are all tangled up, and tied up within alleyways and various debris and other barriers, he rushes forward to punch through at the altar, the two weapons acting of their own accord as if wielded by unseen hands, while he continues to slash and chop at whatever gets in his way, during his inexorable advance forward.
Avira "Careful, you don't want to burn yourself with the backwash or anything." Though Avira's not entirely sure how that potion that Arthur downed works. She's just picturing it as spitting out a mouthfull of lighter fluid which is a pretty bad idea to do around open flames.

"RUN?" she calls back, thinking they mean retreat entirely-only to have Arthur run down an alley. Realizing the change, she chases after him.

"Alright, you heard the man, Maira." Avira grins, giving her best friend a thumbs up before the fire mage moves into position, providing literal cover fire along the rear and sides.

Avira, on the other hand, arranges her hands into the bowstring motion again. The 'arrows' she fires this time instead 'explode' into clusters of ice crystals that seem to reinforce the frozen zombie wall further. After a few shots of this, she turns to giving Firion some backup, shooting down zombies-or freezing them.

The frozen ones shatter nicely when Firion hits them.
Arthur Drover Arthur doesn't bother attacking, he leaves that to professionals. Instead he acts as a beacon. He cuts down side alleys, occasionally loosing an arrow straight upward to explode in a momentary burst of fire, earth, even curative energy. This lets the other two follow him. They are going to have one hell of a tail when this is done. "We probably could have just shambled around and groaned and not had to fight!" he yells, then moving toward the altar in question. A hulking massive zombie lies "unconscious" (or is hibernating a better word?) in front of the temple with its massive boulder having broken open the roof. The shattered altar stone is under a minimum of rubble. But first there is the big critter to handle. He pauses. This would give them time to catch up - but also time for zombies to surround them.

Still, having just fled the beast - even now the malboro is looking sheepish by the seashore - he is not keen to wake an even bigger one without checking with the whole group. It has a big club resting by one of its hands. Giant? Ogre? Bad news.

Inside, the relic stone sits untouched, visible through the massive crack. Scouting had been easier solo, but there was no question they had more firepower together. The strike against the undead recently had also helped thin numbers enough for breathing room. Time to risk it, or could someone else sneak in more ably? He consults with the two when they've caught up, even as an entire district looks like it has hit an early winter gale, and another looks like on any graph of local sunspot activity it would be the center of some very concentric circles.
Firion Firion has an app for th... a solution for that. He comes up with the plan just shortly after he shatters the zombie that Avira set up for a c-c-c-combo attack!

Unravelling the rope knife that he'd previously recovered after the Marlboro situation, he places a second dagger within it's length, about midway. He throws it out, and it chinks against the ground, before he telekinetically drives it in. He then controls its second dagger, driving it in parallel a distance away, while he still holds onto one length of it, creating what appears initially to be a tripwire.

But then flames trail down the rope, and explode, creating instead... a wall of holy flame. Closing off the corridor behind him from the decisively monstrous tail he's received.

Unfortunately, this /really/ restricts his movement especially when the big boss guarding the relic stone is /right there/!

He calls out to Avira at that point, cheerfully, "All yours! I'll distract it!"

Since he's concentrating on keeping the wall of fire constant, his options against the large zombie are pretty limited. Rolling the rope over his arm, he calls forth his bow again, peppering it with completely mundane arrows which were probably only slightly above ineffective. Leaving himself wide open and hoping the big zombie will come after him, rather than the other two figures. Leaving them free to destroy it.
Avira The plan, turns out, appears to be a combination of both! While Firion directly engages the large, beastly undead, Avira takes advantage of the distraction. Arthur, of course, is pulled along with her to keep him out of the way and because he knows more about this altar than she does.

She's also a very small person too. Maybe she can reach into that crack and pull the stone out? Once again, she's back to not talking so she can sneak more effectively.
Arthur Drover The fire washes the corridor between Firion and the dead clean, but they keep coming. A few, on tattered limbs, futilely claw at the warrior's armored body. Arthur and Avira, both of whom followed different routes than the weaponmaster, are left with an opening when the creature rises from the ground with deceptive speed for a giant.

More accurately it appears to go from lying down to standing up in a blur, and makes a spittle-flecked bellow as it rushes with both hands outstretched to try and pick up Firion and then bash him against the ground with all its bulk. It doesn't seem to care about the nearby wall of fire, just the few arrows that provoked it and the fact he is such a visible target tethered to raw fire like that.

Arthur is carried in Avira's wake. He grabs a cloth pouch from his waist, there is down inside. The crack is huge, formed by a boulder bouncing down from the cavern roof. They manage to get in. Perplexingly there are no zombies INSIDE the altar room. Lured away, or the nature of the room repelled them, but there is space enough. "Be careful to get all of the fragments." Arthur glances around the room, already running through their escape route in his head. Somewhere, Maira is probably fireballing zombies from rooftops like a maniacal god.

The creature is trying to use Firion to store its club.
Avira Avira will be thankful at the lack of zombies within the crack. Close quarters fighting with zombies? No thanks period. That's how zombie bites and infections happen.

"Will do." Avira says quietly, pulling the pieces out quickly and carefully. She slips the pieces into one of her pouches at her waist.

"I think we ought to keep the ceiling open as an escape route. Not many of these zombies can fly."
Firion With his movement restricted, and pretty much being tethered to the ground, he really does not have many places to go. Especially since most of his concentration is on maintaining this fiery barrier.

At first he does some upper bodywork, attempting to dodge the zombie. He's met with mild success, right before it picks him up, and bashes him against the ground. He's rather certain that many of his teeth were just jarred loose. And that arm feels mighty uncomfortable. Yet still, he holds on to the rope, because if he doesn't then they might just get torn apart by Undead horde.

Then the zombie starts bashing his club in some very very uncomfortable places. Just before that actually happens though, the warrior's shield is brought up, making a deadly impact something more akin to jarring him. The flame wall flickers, and wavers, as he's driven repeatedly down, to his knees by rapid blows.


Every weapon outside of the flame wall rises out of their sheathes, save the bow, since he can't really use it while in all out defense. And then he flares into life. Each of the weapons bursting into that same flame. Whatever fire is left within him, it is going to rapidly die out at this pace, leaving them exposed to the coming horde. Which is why he tries to end this quickly. Each weapon drives forward telekinetically being wielded to jab, chop, bash, and strike the big boss, each trailing lines of flame with each impact.

Already he seems.. tired, diminished, and critically wounded. But he's still barely hanging in there.
Arthur Drover "Good work. Now we need to find a way out."

The giant is somewhat ponderous, allowing Firion to roll out of the way of its blows. It is only fast in straight lines, it doesn't corner well. Still, escaping is going to be difficult and it manages the barrage which almost lays him low. Only Firion's distraction kept it off of them. This thing could have torn down the altar chamber. No wonder near this beast would be the place to put a suppressing, pacifying holy magic. The slow-moving dead have begun to converge in waves on their location. This is looking like a very hairy situation, and it is going to take just as long to g-

"You know." Arthur says, noticing something. "We've been hindered by style all evening. Gotta fight the big monster, gotta sneak around, we probably could have run through the reduced numbers and just gotten here. We overthought something. Big surprise."

He tents and cracks his fingers. "And Avira, the reason I mention this is because."

One of the streets is completely bathed in flame, which is fading right now. But it is bare of zombies, and it leads all the way to the distant hills and their holy water traps. "Maira has given us the solution we are GOING to take."

He dashes out of the room, dust rising in his wake, trusting the pouch and its cargo to Avira's hands even as a rooftop figure somewhere makes a crevasse of flame. The dead will fill it back up, but not before the three have their chance at escape. The giant zombie, lacking maneuverability as it does, might be something Firion can slip away from easily enough to follow them. Oh hell is it standing on his face.

Yeah he's having a bit of trouble but about to land an incapacitating blow, good. Arthur turns and nocks a special arrow. It has a pattern of thorny vines, and a heart shaped feathering. It looks like it wants to drink blood - it gives the impression of speed even while staying still, it is barbed. Correction, it looks like it NEEDS to drink blood.

The shot follows Firion's weapons. He beats the thing to the ground, and the arrow goes through it. Ropes spring from Mariel's Arrow, tying the beast still with steel chain for it to be cut to ribbons by the hellish weaponmaster's medley. But it is still healing. Still repairing. It's just not moving.

"I only have one of those, come, warrior!" And then he's off, down the lane created by the mage. "I pledge to think more simply!" And holy muck leaves a trail behind them as the adventurers beat feet from there.

This scene contained 33 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Maira, Firion, Arthur Drover