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At Camp Pair Dadeni
(2013-08-30 - Now)
No description.
Avira Camp Pair Dadeni, a gummi ship test site, is no longer much of a secret to the general world at this point. Suffering under a sustained zombie seige, as of their actions last night, the end to that particular problem may soon be in sight. Others were on the horizon still but they were fortunately not as dire as an endless stream of undead.

By now, the test site was just short of a downright fortress. Barricades have been set up all around, the walls of which were manned and watched by archers. Markings and clever traps created by Arthur Drover are set throughout the woods. While they were devistating against living intruders, they did little to deter undead. Still, those traps were occasionally replaced in the case someone malicious took interest in the research here.

As the sun begins to set, the jungle grows silent, which is probably the first sign that something is awry. Normally there are the sounds of wildlife-bugs chirping, nocturnal rodents, and so on. But tonight...nothing.

Avira has definitely noticed this discrepency and now stands atop the barricade near the gated entrance to the camp area.
Maira Maira, meanwhile, is half asleep and feeling rather under the weather. She doesn't really want to be a bother, so she's been trying to stay out of the way and get some rest.

The silence however, wakes her, so she wanders on out of her tent, rubbing her eyes and looking around. It is very difficult to tell when Maira has a fever, as she always burns hot--but her eyes look a a little unfocused, hazy. Still, she knows something is wrong. "Nnnng?" she inquires.
Oriane Guado An undead siege of a jungle fortress was not high on the list of priorities of the Yevon Church. And yet, one of their trusted agents has risked the dangers of this infernal swamp to find a particular slipshod fortress that was constructed in its depths. Oriane Guado has travelled with only a simple escort of two warrior monks of Yevon and relishes in the independence that her unique situation offers within the Church. She can simply go wherever she damn well pleases.

The undead hordes, however; have made travel rather difficult for the Guado. Her guards do indeed carry that standard issue of flamethrowers, but igniting an entire jungle would be a little counter productive. Instead, Oriane relies on her 'other' talents to safely navigate her small group to the 'fort'.

Well, here they were. Oriane strides up directly towards the gates with her arms outstretched, her guards flanking her every step. "Greetings, my expedition requires recuperation and I must presume that your...impressive settlement here could provide such a service?" She asks with a simple smile on her face. Her guards do not share her demeanor and remain stoic. "I do ask that you let us in haste or turn us away now for this area seems a tad bit more dangerous than I remember."
Avira "It's quiet." Avira intones in a grave voice that basically invites disaster with each word. Her turn of phrase only reinforces that impending doom. "A little /too/ quiet." The VALKYRI leader doesn't leave her perch atop the wall but she does squint a bit harder at Maira. "Say, are you alright? You don't look so well."

It couldn't be the camping, could it? Avira doubted it. They've both endured worse conditions before, after all!

Abruptly, Avira stops talking and holds up a hand. Noises-she heard them, off in the woods, clearly sounding like the approach of several someones. Though as she listens to the noises further, she hears the steady stride. It was too consistant to be the shamble of incoming undead. Nevertheless, she warms up a bit of her ice magic, a slight blue light hovering over Avira's open palm.

Imstead, she sees an oddly-dressed group approaching lead by a woman that looks quite familiar to her. Avira's certain she's seen Oriane before...but where?

"Of course. Come in quickly, I've got a feeling it's going to get ugly out there." Looking away from the group of Yevonites, Avira motions to people out of sight-well, Maira can see them. They're a couple of swathy, big men that wheel the doors to the gates open.

The interior of the camp is crowded and somewhat messy. There are gummi blocks and synthesis materials piled everywhere. The living areas, or camping areas, rather, are at least fairly organized.
Maira Maira groans softly. She knows those words! Trouble must be brewing! She waves to Avira, dismissing her question. "Just a little sick I think," she explains, tilting her head slightly to one side. "Huh...that's weird..." she begins to say, then her attention is grabbed by the voices outside the fort. The gate opens, and Maira moves to greet the newcomers, her eyes settling on Oriane Guado. Huh, have they met before? There is something sort of familiar.

"Helloooo," she greets, waving them into the messy camp. "I sure hope its not more zombies...I'm really sick of zombies," she comments. "Better than Heartless I guess--one wants to eat your brains, the other your heart--wonder if there are any monsters out there that just want your liver or something..." she continues, rambling on as she turns one way, walks several feet, stops, then turns the other way as if she forgot what she was doing. Which she did. Of course, now she need to pretend that she totally knows what she's doing, so she goes about getting some water to put in the teapot. Tea is good. It is a thing you should do for newcomers. Yup yup.
Arthur Drover At about this point, Arthur emerges from the "forge". The forge is a series of leather curtains around a magically sealed dwarven-style forge. It is squat and intense, efficient to the point that it is the one thing in the camp not stricken with resupply problems during the undead siege. He's forged swords and done jobbing armor repair, he can smelt arrowheads by the bucketfull - but the forge has been out of commission. The work of the night had been harder than anything in a while. Because he couldn't fix it.

Drover's compulsion to fix had to be reigned in. The stone is holy, a seat of holy power - or at least undead-controlling power. It is a powerful artifact, and it would not let itself be repaired without the blessing of a Church official. Therefore, he couldn't finish the job. The runestone had been in pieces, a well-crafted thing laid low by an errant boulder. The idea shocked him.

He'd been making small improvements all over the camp, and was known for always having a project. It's just his way - he knows how to relax, but he probably pencils it in on his schedule, and the quality can be grating. Thus the stone is now in two halves, not quite done but still repaired. Diamantine resin had been laid between all of the cracks. There is a traditional practice of repairing pottery or shattered gems with gold, so you can plainly see the cracks - the thing made more beautiful by resilience after breaking. Arthur had done the same with a blue white diamond paste, more valuable even than the original architecture, taken from a small pot tucked away in his emergency kit.

Currently he has completed a project - and as he so often does, is running it past his "partner" for approval.

He certainly approves of her post on the wall, the synthesist hoisting the two halves overhead and pressing them together to show that there is just one step before the thing is once more whole. He grins at Avira and Maira, looking tired, just as the party has the gate opened for them. His overalls have flecks of the diamond dust, but they're otherwise as clean as always. It might make a strange sight for those coming through the gate.
Oriane Guado Oriane Guado comes and goes with frightening infrequency. Perhaps they do know her. Oriane and her slightly off-putting smile are doing nothing to illuminate this one way or the other. The priestess enters the camp proper now with her guards in tow. Once they enter, she reaches over to the senior monk and taps him on the cheek. "Play nice with the others. I would absolutely -hate- to have to replace you with someone competent," says the woman in a patronizing tone to her protectors as they go off to mingle with the other camp dwellers.

Her goons dispatched, Oriane Guado carefully corrects some imperfections in her vestments before striding forth. Her green eyes wash over Avira and Maira both and her sickeningly sweet smile remains. "A little birdie told me you have something of a predicament with the undead. Actually, the sheer odor of this camp was telling enough beyond any rumor I heard. It already smells like death in here. " Oriane takes a deep breath of putrid jungle air before wrinkling her nose. "Among other pungent smells that is."

Her attention now moves towards the forge. Hmm. Now that was something interesting. Perhaps that explains why this group chose this place as a camp. Arthur is remembered from their chance encounter at his store some time ago. Thankfully, the detestable company in which he kept that day was nowhere in sight. The priestess turns back to Avira and Maira. "I had the 'pleasure' in examining a few of cadavers on my way through. Shoddy work at best, but sometimes one has to sacrfice quality for quantity." She giggles knowingly at her own joke. "I am afraid most members of the Church of Yevon would not seek a more complex solution to your troubles then to summon Ifrit to burn this entire place down. I hope that you possess the wits to think of a more intelligent solution than that of my...peers."
Avira It quickly becomes clear that there are two types of people in this camp-though as time goes on, the lines have started to blur a little. There are the mercenaries. VALKYRI and other fighters brought in by Avira, here to fight the undead. There are the synergists-Arthur Drover's kin, helping with what are far more extensive tasks.

"Just a little sick?" Avira's concern is obvious. "Sick with what? You didn't catch something while we were underground, did you?"

From the corner of her eye, a familiar face arrives, carrying with him the fruit of his labor. Avira has to double-take at the results because she remembers painstakingly collecting each one of the pieces of that stone. "Wow, you've made a huge amount of progress, Arthur. Were...were you up all night repairing that?" Just one look at the man tells her that the answer to that question is 'yes.'

The gates quickly close once Oriane and her entourage have entered. Much to Avira's surprise, the lead (familiar!) priestess addresses them. "Well, yes, we've had pretty frequent undead problems." Avira seems wholly unsurprised that Oriane commands this information. "Wait, Church of Yevon?"

Yevon was certainly smiling upon them all today for this fortuitous coincidence to be occuring!

"My colleague here, Arthur Drover, happens to be holding the more intelligent solution in his very hands." Avira says with a smile, gesturing to the stones, "We retrieved this from underground-it was a component in a holy altar from an underground city. We believe its shattering unleashed this undead plague on our camp. While we can put it together, none of us can properly bless it."
Maira Maira smiles a little at Oriane. Her smile is warm, fae-like gaze both curious and slightly dazed. She watches Oriane for a long time, un-blinking, before she realizing she's staring. Maira shakes her head as if to clear it, holding the teapot with one hand while she summons fire to heat it with the other. She goes on, as if this takes no concentration. "Would you like tea?" she asks.

As Oriane continues, Maira's eyes widen further. Yevon! "Oh! You are a priestess of Yevon? I was going to maybe come and find someone like you to help me with a thing--the thing is solved now I guess but I heard that you deal with spirits a lot and I had a ghost who was bonded to me for a long time and well--" Maira shakes her head again, blinking rapidly as her brow furrows in a wince.

"" she says, looking over to Arthur as he arrives. Didn't they say they needed someone from a Church? "Hey, maybe this lady can help--she knows about spirits, undead, /and/ she's a priestess," she offers, helpfully, as if they certainly wouldn't have reached that conclusion on their own.

When the teapot whistles, Maira almost drops it, startled. Forgot she was doing that. "Yes, tea, who wants tea?"
Arthur Drover Arthur smirks, but he doesn't do Avira the disservice of pretending otherwise. He allows the weariness to leak through in his visage, before re-composing. "The last seal needs a helpmeet. I can't finish it up or else we'll lose the virtue."
"I'll take a cup, Maira." Arthur is visibly grateful and falls into one of the chairs for relief archers when they rotate out of their teams. The rough wooden seats have decent straw padding and he's grateful. He didn't think to put a chair in forge. "Note to self, chair for forge." he adds aloud, hoping he'll remember or someone will remind him. The split runestone is on his lap, only one crack left to be filled. It shimmers.

"It was a beautiful thing, and that city - I do not know how that happened, or why. The stuff down there was like Mist, and the creatures within were all terrible. But Mist creatures are often flesh and bone, and many of them were something brought back."

He's devoid of his bow for once, body decked with toolbelt and belt knife, but he still sits tensed just in case.

At Maira's mention of Oriane, he pauses, reconsiders his actions of the last few moments, and rises rapidly - dislodging the stone into the seat somewhat carefully.

A somewhat formal bow to the Lady - but once more her mere presence seems to suggest she's here for a reason and he greets her with a tip of his cap. "Welcome to The Cauldron then."
Oriane Guado Oriane brings her arms together in a circular gesture that is native to Spira. It is the blessing of Yevon, but the priestess only does it half-heartedly. "Yes. I am a Priestess of Yevon and I am adept in the study of diseases and sickness. These two previously mentioned facts are what made me singularly qualified to seek out this encampment to see what I can learn and what can be done." She says in half-truth with that fox-like smile of hers.

Avira's talk of the nature of this curse causes her look the woman's way for the first time with real interest in her green eyes. "Interesting. Most altars of that description are meant to 'control' the undead and not to merely 'contain' them. This perhaps speaks of a darker blight that mars this land if such a blessed altar is required to alleviate the undead's embrace of these lands. " The idea of possibly having a hand in blessing the altar brings a deliciously coy smile to Oriane's lips. "An auspicious day for me to come here and investigate this matter personally."

The offer of tea from Maira causes Oriane to look her way. "Yes. Some tea would do nicely after such a lovely stroll through the woods. I trust you can see to preparing a cup for myself?" The girl's animated talk of spirits causes Oriane to purse her lips together. "Spirits can be a troublesome issue to deal with. The desires of a soul can make one cling to this world long past their death. Returning a spirit to the Farplane is a task that all members of the Church of Yevon are quite skilled at." Oriane's tone makes this seem like a pedestrian request despite the supernatural aspect of such a task.

Arthur's abrupt, but polite greeting causes Oriane to cast a glance in his direction. She acknowledges the bow with a nod of her head. "I must express my disappointment that I was not present for the excavation of the city. The identification of machina unknown to the Church is a responsibility that cannot be neglected."
Maira Now that Maira has remembered what she's doing, she has located cups and is now pouring tea for both Oriane and Arthur. Oriane, as guest, gets hers first. Arthur next. Then she'll pour herself and Avira a cup, if the warrior woman wants some. None of the cups match each other, eccentric but well made obviously by hand in a home kiln.

Maira takes note of Arthur's request for a chair in the forge and tucks it away. She'll bring one over. As for now, she takes a seat on a fallen log and sips her tea, hoping it will clear the fogginess from her head. Maira looks up at Oriane again as she speaks, nodding a little and glancing to the side. Should she mention her tie to spirits? Even though Uist is gone, they still approach her sometimes. She still hears them. "My spirit wasn't least not on purpose. He protected and watched over me for a long time," she replies quietly, then looks down into her tea and falls quiet. There is business to attend to, after all. Destiny! Or something. Maira does look over to Arthur though, and frowns lightly. "You must get some rest. Don't want you to get sick too," she cautions.
Avira Beyond the walls, the forest continues to remain deathly silent.

Avira will take some tea, though Maira likely already knows that due to best friend psychic powers. She always accepts Maira's tea. Slowly she starts to wince as the fire mage brings up a recenly very touchy series of events with her ghost dad.

For a few moments there's an uncomfortable look on her face as two touchy subjects seem to survive. "Well if this area is from Ivalice, then the cursed area nearby...well. Rumors say there was a city there that was wiped out in the blink of an eye. How or when...well, nobody seems to walk to talk about that. Especially not in Rabanastre. It's something I kind of want to follow up on now!"

But a frown follows as Oriane offers what seems to be a troubling explanation for the altar. "To control them? So it's possible we accidentally stumbled upon some necromancer's amassing undead army? Hm. It's a shame you weren't with us yesterday when we went into the city." Avira's quick to agree. She hopes that the Priestess could tell more upon examining the cracked runestone.

Something else makes her pause and slowly she glances over to Elsewhere In The Camp where tarps cover the massive gummi ship structures and pieces that they've all been toying with since setting up the camp. Machina-that's right, the Chuch of Yevon had this thing against Machina. Surely gummi ships did not count, right?

Daintily, despite her obviously-dressed-for-a-fight clothing, Avira accepts a cup of tea. "Seems we're definitely in luck today, Arthur. We could be out of the undead-slaying business soon enough."
Arthur Drover "Ha! We can hope. If you want to know where the city is, m'lady, we will of course not conceal it from you. I regret we were not doing salvage, and we took a very swift and dangerous route to our limited destination. No Machina we saw, but we're not experts." The tea is accepted with a companionable smile and pat on Avira's shoulder. Arthur takes a sip, then a longer gulp - the smoky pall on his throat swiftly washed away and his stomach filled with warmth in the process. "Whatever happened to that city, it was a doom. If anyone made it out alive once the hammer fell, I would be surprised. Did you see the lake? And we went deep into that cavern to even reach the highest spires. A true effort to make it safe would be monumental - and might be needed. What started this uprising was a boulder falling on this stone."

The smith retakes his seat and hefts the altar stone into his lap. "The roof fell in, the altar broke. But I'd assume some undead always exist in this jungle, just unseen because it is a dangerous place anyway. They are tough and some purple energy down there made a terrible mist." He brushes his fingers over the silver flute at his belt. "I was considering sealing it up, but they can rise through the ground, so it would be no use, now that I know that. Your insight, and your power as an official of the Church, would be appreciated if you deign to offer it for our purposes, and compensation in a kind of your choosing is yours to claim if you take the time."

Arthur and Avira have between them been writing a lot of cheques, but he was owed a few favors too, and feels comfortable riding this tug-of-war of debt into further success. "And the amenities, such as they are, are to hand. We have heated water for washing up, and I can have Mister Farnsworth knock you up a meal fit for a noble, providing you adhere to the promise not to ask him how he does it. I will be skipping the chow line today, since the ladies will send me to bed after this stone has been squared away." A rueful smile, but not grudging.

A pouch at Arthur's side is opened up, and he extracts some form of dried and pressed wafer in a long strip. His belt knife flies to hand and carves off a chunk. It looks tough, and the manful wolf-bite he takes out of it supports this. "Pressed fruit, salt, meat, and herbs, everything a body needs." he explains as he takes a long swallow and then more of the tea. "Compact, efficient, horrifying in its implications." He dislodges the pouch, throwing it next to the huntress as she climbs down from the wall. "Try some if you're brave." And Avira might notice the color coded brown strip sewn into it. Brown for food and drink, red for dangerous substances, green for medicine, blue for materiel acquisitions, black for "don't open this" or "top secret". Black pouches, bags, and boxes are trapped. Purple for "trap, this is just a trap", too. The color code saves lives and is taught to at least some camp followers. Orange for "no men allowed". You'd think that might be pink, but pink is taken up by "gummi supplies" except the grenades which are lime green for "explosives".
Minerva Minerva was often around but for all her show in fights? She tended to keep some what of a lower profile when it came to other things? She could fade into the background very well. However she has chosen to return axd she's got something under her arm. It's a keg, what else? Then agian given where she was from? Drinking booze could be safer than drinking the water after all.

"Hail my friends, so prehaps you might be looking for something a bit stronger than Tea?"
Oriane Guado "People rarely wish to speak of things that they find uncomfortable or unsettling. Even more so if it hurts the reputation or honor of a location or of a people," deadpans Oriane as she accepts the teacup with a nod. She gracefully sits on the fallen log too and crosses her legs swiftly. "I shall make note to inter..question the local populace about this. The undead can be an unruly lot and it takes a certain kind of expertise and precision to handle these matters and to prevent the situation from becoming exponentially worse."

Oriane takes a sip of tea and attempts to conceal a slight grimace. Her unnaturally pale green eyes focus back on Avira. "That altar may very well only be half-measure in some past civilization's attempt to control this problem. And the difference between an unholy and a holy altar can be hard to discern as it depends on the exact theology and philosophy of the person making the judgement on it. Put another way, what is holy to you might be unholy to me." Sip. "Or vice-versa."

The Guado priestess astutely follows Avira's gaze when she looks over at the machina ships. "Worry not, I am much more liberally minded then some of my simple-minded peers. I already am in the minority of my Church in that I am a female priest and also a Guado." And her other interests and talents make her even more that much of the black sheep of the Church.

Maira and her spirits concerns now get a look from Oriane. "I myself was cursed with a troublesome spirit that became my companion after I freed her from a tomb underneath the Dalmascan sands. Spirits frustrating do not tend to take 'no' for an answer. And currenltly I am blessed...." Oriane smirks mid-sentence. "...that she has decided to have a little spat with me over some triviality and thus is not present."

Arthur's explanation of their foray into the city commands Oriane's attention for a few moments. "I see. I would have to see this all with my own eyes to know for show. Anything less than that would be utter failure in my duty as a researcher." The man's talk of the amenitites or lack there of in the camp causes a slight look of horror to descend on Oriane's face. Then again, she had always lived the pampered life. "That is some gracious hospitality." She states lamely as she -tries- not to be insultive of the living conditions.

The newly arrived Minerva draws a look from the pristine priestess. "Stronger than tea?" A nice glass of wine would be simply divine. Heh. Her eyes settle on the keg in the Minerva's arms. Oh. That is quite obviously not something one stores wine in. "I will have to pass as my duties as a priestess restrict what libations that I can partake in."
Maira Maira, after having stared into space for several minutes, finishes her tea then stands, excusing herself. "Sorry, need to go lay down...come get me if anything..." she trails off, neglects to finish her sentence, then walks off to her tent and collapses.

Avira "Specifically, a fight with a massive, ancient occhu." Avira supplements to Arthur's further expansion of the city and the damaged altar the runestone originated from. "After that battle, the undead took extreme exception with our presence here in the jungle and have bothered us since."

She sips the tea without a cringe or grimance. In fact, it seems like she enjoys it. "If it helps at all with identification, this area likely originates from Ivalice so the church of Galbados or the Light of Klita would be a starting point. There are other cults or styles of worship though none have the following of the others. Still, they can't be ruled out."

Arthur almost gets a -look- from Avira as she climbs down from the wall, dangling her legs down as she faces in to the camp. Any anger she might have had at him not eating before he inevitably passes out quickly vanishes when he chows down on odd concoction. "Of course I'll try some." she says with an adventurous tone, easily catching the tossed pouch.

"I still have some watch to do so I can't do the whole drinking thing quite yet, Minerva." Avira says with a smile.

Ah, Oriane's reluctance at their living conditions cannot be disguised from Avira. Her reaction brings a smirk to the scarred huntress's face. Clearly this priestess was not of the missionary type, who might already be familiar with such camps. "By all means, though, please give this holy stone a look. I fear that Arthur will not rest until it is fully repaired."
Arthur Drover Arthur takes the two stone halves and sets them on a broad flat rock nearby. "Nay, I leave it under your watch. Once it is invested with virtue - prayer, magic, or just a stern talking to - I will be able to lay it with resin and begin the most fiddly part of the repair. Which I will do after a night's sleep, and with you pumping the bellows. You should really take up more of the trade. I will take Maira's implicit suggestion, and your glare, as my marching orders."

He rises, with an audible crackling of bones, leaving the stone where it is with the trepidation of a mother leaving a child on a floodplain. He mimics Oriane's prayer/greeting, though inexpertly, decides he's probably being irreverent halfway through, then tips his cap again. He picks his way toward the nearest tent. Anyone complaining about him passed out in their bunk would just have to deal with it.
Minerva Minerva looks over to Maira for a moment and nods a bit. "That's all right later my friend."

She watches her friend head off to sleep and she sits herself sown at this point. The monk listens with good interest to Avira as she speaks. Some of it she knows some of it she does not. She is a follower of Glabados, human failing within the Church?s leadership does not invalidate her faith. Nay that's just humans being human she has no idea of the horrible nightmare truth.

"Fair enough Avira, Drinking on watch could get us stuck on what's the term? The grave yard shift."
Oriane Guado Oriane is quite used to her creature comforts. That is the honest truth. She summarily finishes with her tea and gently sets the teacup down before uncrossing her legs and standing up. The Guado brushes herself off before making her way over towards where Arthur left the stone before making his blashphermous exit. "I shall excuse myself while I concentrate on studying the stone. If there is anything to be discerned from it, I will discover it." Oriane says confidently as she goes do just that.

This scene contained 21 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Maira, Minerva, Oriane Guado, Arthur Drover