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Trail of Thieves
(2014-03-28 - 2014-03-31)
No description.
Lionheart 0 Oh, I come from a land.
From a far-away place, where the caravan camels roam.
Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face.
It's barbaric, but hey! It's home.

When the wind's from the east
And the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right...
Come on down. Stop on by.
Hop a carpet and fly to another Arabian night...

"Salaam and good evening to you, worthy friend. Welcome to our world. It is a place full of mystery, of enchantment... And the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan! On sale today!" A little man with an obnoxiously large nose points to a huge sign over his little shop.

"Ahh, I see you are not interested in my wares, but perhaps a story will change your mind?" He rubs his hands together, grinning.

"Once upon a time, there was a firey woman from another world. This woman, beautiful and fair was sent here by a powerful entity, to search for a stolen artifact, hidden out among the sands." His hand sweeps the dunes. "Are you sure you would not like to buy this candle commemorating her journey? No? It will not go out. See?" He lights it. The wind blows. It goes out.

"Uh... where was I? Oh yes...eheh" The scene shifts to a desert, where small forms are moving among the dunes. "This beautiful woman came to seek out a stolen treasure. What she would come to discover is that it was held in the grasp of the infamous fourty thieves!" Camera pan back to the little shop. "Are you scared? I have this blanket here, keeps away nightmares. 50 Munny. No, wait! I can haggle."

He flumps back into his chair. "Well, so much for them. They will miss the best part of the story. But you won't, will you? You see... a kindly old merchant just so happened to tell this beautiful woman where she could begin her search. So, our begins on the dark sands, as she and her companions search for the lair of the Fourty Thieves... hidden amongst the dunes." Mysterious finger-wiggling resolves to the Maira's party, in an ocean of sand, with no landmarks to be seen.
Maira "Uuuuugh," Maira groans, looking around herself. Nothing but sand in every direction. Why would anyone want to live in such a place? At least the heat of the day didn't bother her, nor really the chill of the night. As if is night and the desert is dark, Maira has conjured a few lights, flicking flame following the group to illuminate the area before them. Besides that light, there's nothing but the far away stars.

And sand. Did I mention SAND?

Maira is riding her chocobo, Mao, who warks in agreement with Maira's apparently frustration. "Are we lost do you think? How are we suppose to know if we are going in the right direction if there are no landmarks? Its all just sand, forever and ever..." she says, pulling out her compass. "Well, it /says/ we are going in the right direction still..."

Maira purses her lips, then looks back to the others. "Any suggestions? Wish we'd brough the ship, then we could get an aerial view!"

Why didn't they think of that?
Deelel Think your typical desert bandit from D&D and that's about what Deelel looks like now, lose fitting desert pant,s exposed midriff a basic top and exposed arms, what it notable is as ever she's got circuit line like tattoos visible here. Though breaking a bit of the look was the disc mount that was always a part of the back of any outfit she wore.

She's following along after Maira, she's finding sand in places she didn't even know existed her self but she could be worse she's riding along on some sort of grid based ATV along side her. She looks over at Maira for a moment.

"Need me to switch to my light jet and go take a look, Maira?"

Deelel was amused, for she had a plane and a bike in her pocket if needed after all.
Avira "Yeah the desert gets pretty cold at night." Avira remarks as they travel through a vast, featureless desert in search of the den of the 40 thieves. She's gone ahead and brought some slightly heavier clothing for this, dark in its color that is ideal for sneaking. It is an outfit she's employed while sneaking onto a certain pirate ship to confront a certain CRIMINAL in th epast. It's served her well.

"I don't think we're lost, between the stars, our compass, and the distinct lack of Reize, our odds of being lost are very slim. Still, I don't expect it to be easy to find this infamous den. An aerial view may help. Find rocks, suspicious outcroppings, maybe some tracks. I'm so sad we haven't found tracks."
Katyna "Well, I think it's great! Nice and warm and full of treasure and sunshine!" quips Katyna as she rides alongside the others on her chocobo. She also pulls out her compass, peering at it. "Heh, I'm pretty sure we're headed in the right direction. We're supposed to be heading north until we reach some sorta landmark or something, right?"

Right now, she's just thinking of all the treasure she'll find when they get there. It's been a while since she's been on a hunt for pretty shinies! Of coures there are other more important reasons for this mission but hey, it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for treasure too, right?
Lionheart The thing about the desert is that one dune looks pretty much the same as the next. Sure, they'd been given directions, but it was more of a 'head that way' -- ish. Either that, or they were given bum directions by that 'kindly old merchant'.

"Hey, who is telling this story?" The merchant interrupts.

"You are..." The narrator mumbles dejectedly.

Where were we? Oh yes. SAND. There's lots of it, as Maira has so astutely pointed out. They should have found this mysterious hide-out by now, right? It's like it should be right under their feet.

"And it was! Now, if they had purchased this fine map, made by the fine craftsmen Reize Seatlan, they surely would have known where they were going." The merchant waggles about a map that looks as if it's drawn in crayon, only to have his camel snatch it away and begin using it as a snack. "Hey!"

"Riiiight... While he's distracted let's continue the story, shall we?" The narrator can be heard rubbing the bridge of his nose. Yes, you hear me, it's AUDIBLE.

The sands are an unforgiving place, especially to those who just so happen to be unlucky. It means that all it takes is one step for Katyna to discover the truth. They were in the right place afterall, and all it takes is someone falling into a dark pit of uncertain doom to discover that. Oh, it's not /really/ dangerous, there's no spike traps or anything, but there is one of those ultra-long, inserted just for the 3D effects, roller-coaster type sequences before the poor victim of bad-luck ends up underground, leaving a dark hole in the sands for the others to find in their place.

"Give me back that map you stupid camel!" The merchant shouts, followed by incoherent scrambling in the background, and the sound of camel-spit bouncing off of something metal.

The chamber below is dark. Like, can't see anything dark. Someone had better turn on a light. Oh wait, are those glowing red eyes watching Katyna? Don't worry, they're just rats. LOTS AND LOTS OF RATS.
Maira Maira looks toward Deelel. Slow blink.


"I had totally forgotten about that Deelel! Yes that would be pretty fantastic," she answers, shaking her head. Something occurs to her though, raising a finger like an exclaimation point. "Oh! Does it have a stealth mode or something? We don't want to be /too/ obvious that we're coming or they might run.."

The fiery young woman looks to Avira then, snickering. "True, but I can get pretty lost on my own, too," she comments, shrugging one shoulder. Maira is dressed in the dress Skoll had made for her, all fine link chains in flame-hues. This had actually been the more practical outfit choice. At least in this she looked like someone who meant business! Over this she has placed a worn looking cloak that appears to be far too long for her, but it covers the fire-proof dress well, letting her blend in with her surrounding at least somewhat better.

At least when she's not on fire, which contrary to popular belief is /not/ always!

Before Deelel can do her thing however, Katyna stumbles upon the answer in the version of a pit that opens under her in the sand. Maira blinks as Katyna simply disappears as if the sand ate her, then scrambles out of the saddle to move over to where Katyna disappeared. "Gah! Katyna! Katyna are you alright!?" she calls down.

Maira looks to Avira and Deelel. "Well...think we found the entrance..." she says, then looks back into the hole. "Eeeh...." she says, then jumps on in. "LOOK OUT BELOW!"

Mao tilts his feathered head, then actually rolls his eyes.

Maira uses magic to slow her fall, eventually arriving nearby Katyna, blinking at the glowing red eyes. Red? Oh, well at least they are not yellow. Thank goodness!

Wait. This is still bad.

"RAAAATS!" she warns, then steps forward, throwing off her cloak in a dramatic gesture as she ignites herself to light the area and hopefully keep back the rats!
Deelel Deelel says "All right then I'll give it a go from the air then."

She attempts to shake off some of the sane as she gets off her craft, it becomes transparent, then wire frame after that? It's vanishes back into the control baton which is quickly pulled back to a belt about Deelel's waist. She recovers another rod from it and is about to form it into a light jet when? Katyana finds her way in.

"Or someone could find it that way."

She puts the rod away and is now going to move to help her. With out eve a pause Deelel drops after Maira into the hole away she goes she lands i a crouch causing an impact but oddly is utterly fine. As for the rates she looks about for a moment.

"So user grid-bugs, I know."

Didn't they also carry organic viri in them she mused. No this was not a good place at all. She get she light staff out powers up the end not as weapon but as a light source.

"Kat? You all right?"
Avira As Maira's best friend, Avira can reliably certify that she is not always on fire!

The moment Avira sees Katyna drop though the sand, she draws her weapon and leaps off her rental chocobo, fearing that an antlion got her friend. She rushes to the hole and looks down, relieved to see that a pincer-possessing monster does not lie in wait at the bottom.

"Wow, it looks pretty deep. We should probably try to be a bit quieter though! In case, you know, the thieves are home." Right after Maira, Avira is JUMPING ONTO WHITE BASE AHHHHH that is jumping down the hole.

"Wheeeeee!" Avira squeals all throughout the impressively CGI'd tunnel. She lands rolling and swivels herself up onto her feet. She still has her weapon out but doesn't attack the rats. They're rats. Maira's copious amounts of FIRE should take care of that.
Katyna Katyna continued on the trail near the end of the group, wandering off a little on her own as she spies something shining in the ground. Was it treasure? A gemstone? Some other rare, pretty shiny? But she's so caught up in her search for treasure that she doesnt notice the ground give way til it's too late!

"Aaaaaah!" she yells as she vanishes from view, seemingly swallowed by the sand below as a trap door opens up. Her voice echoes and fades as she vanishes from view, then lands with a THUMP far down below. Climbing shakily to her feet, she does a quick check to see that everything's intact.

"Eh, I'm alright! You guys! I think I found the entrance!" And then, she pulls out her sword, which springs to life with brilliant flames as she uses it to light the way....Woah, are those rats? Eeehh..."Raaats! Loads of 'em!" But they're just rats, right? Err....Still, this is crazy! She starts waving her sword if any of them start to swarm her. "Careful y'all!"
Katyna Katyna continued on the trail near the end of the group, wandering off a little on her own as she spies something shining in the ground. Was it treasure? A gemstone? Some other rare, pretty shiny? But she's so caught up in her search for treasure that she doesnt notice the ground give way til it's too late!

"Aaaaaah!" she yells as she vanishes from view, seemingly swallowed by the sand below as a trap door opens up. Her voice echoes and fades as she vanishes from view, then lands with a THUMP far down below. Climbing shakily to her feet, she does a quick check to see that everything's intact.

"Eh, I'm alright! You guys! I think I found the entrance!" And then, she pulls out her sword, which springs to life with brilliant flames as she uses it to light the way....Woah, are those rats? Eeehh..."Raaats! Loads of 'em!" But they're just rats, right? Err....Still, this is crazy! She starts waving her sword if any of them start to swarm her. "Careful y'all!"
Warden Thache As people fetch up against the end of the ramp down things quiet down. It seems that everyone made it down ok right? Right! So...wait...why is there more noise coming from the slide down...

From the mouth of that ramp tumbles a tall and agile figure, one hand holding his hand. The other hand holding his friend racoon. His pirate coat swirls around him as he tumbles out, somehow managing to end up on his feet.

A pause.

"Taaa daa?" Drawls Warden Thache, pirate captain as he settles his hat on his head and smirks around. Somehow managing to glare at the swarming rats at the same time as he smirks towards Maira and Avira.

He reaches out, dusting his coat off and glancing about. "Facinating place you've found for us, love."
Lionheart The combination of flames from Katyna's sword and Maira's... well, everything, seems to be more than enough to bring light to the small room, revealing that th rats aren't just ordinary rats. They are defininitely the ROUS variety. They are the sort that invade basements and require low level fighters guild people to come clear them out. They even come with that annoying chittering sound. They must have been put here to gnaw the ankles off of unwitting adventurers. How do we know? Because there's one dusty skeleton in the corner holding a sign that says: Beware rats!

"We have a discount on industrial sized rat-traps. Pick up some before your next adventure!" The merchant seems to run through behind the narrator, still chasing the camel.

"They don't want your rat-traps, give it up!" The narrator shouts back.

The rats don't seem to be afraid of the fire, though. Maybe they've seen the thieves use it in these tunnels too often in the past. No, what scares them into running away is the arrival of... the cat. They flee in all directions, scurrying into holes and down hallways until the room is left empty.

"I don't remember him being part of this story." The merchant peeks over the Narrator's shoulder, only to be pushed backwards.

"Hey look, shinies." The narrator points.

"Where?" The merchant stares, and then wanders off screen.

The party is left in an underground chamber which seems to have two exits. One has a symbol of a skull and cross-bones over it, the other has a symbol of a hanged man. There are scrawled writings all over this room, as if fourty men had used this as a place to tag their names to show them as part of the Fourty Thieves. Only a few are legible, and a good number of them are just 'x's. They are probably not dealing with the smartest of crooks, here.
Avira Bigger rats, now that's different. Avira remembers her days, post-recovery from the Giza plains, running around in the Rabanastre sewers, practicing on rats. Angantyr would laugh at her during this since typically only children would bother fighting rats for experience. Avira is an adult!

"Well then, if it's going to be like this...!" Avira brandishes the Spine, then pauses as a CERTAIN PIRATE tumbles down the ramp to join them. Avira bristles. She didn't even see him following them...unless they were hiiiiigh up in the atmosphere in their ship! Even then, she should have seen that, she actually WAS looking up this time!

"Oh look, just in time. You're a cat, Warden, you deal with these things." Avira scoffs by way of greeting. Either way, Avira does still participate, slaying rats in a way a not-level-1 warrior would do.

Soon she's trying to decipher the various symbols on the wall, writing them off as names, then observing the doors. "Well these weren't in the stories. You're supposed to come to a big door and say 'open sesame' and be let inside. Anyway my vote is for skull and crossbones. Could be reverse psychology. Advertise the way as deadly but it really isn't."
Maira Maira begins to grin as the rats run away, thinking it is her and her friends that have frightened them away. Yes! They are fearsome! Maira has fire!

Then she hears "Taadaa" and looks back, shoulders slumping.

Of course. Cat.

"Uhhh hiii Warden..." she says, looking slowly toward Avira to then whisper "your stalker is here!" with a small, cheeky smile. Then she looks back to Warden, and SPOOKS! "Spooks!" she greets, going over to give the racoon a snuggle. "Well alright, its good you guys are here I can help us think like thieves!" she says.

Maira turns back to the chamber, eyes moving over the two exits and their symbols. Lips purse as she brings a hand up to tap her chin thoughtfully, looking between the two. "Which way...which way..." she sings quietly to herself. "The skull looks like the symbol you use Warden, pirate thing. We're not looking for pirates though so we should go toward the one with the hanged man--no wait! Maybe they'd want us to think its /not/ the pirate side so we should go that way! Or--" Maira sighs.

She looks to Avira, shrugging. "Both symbols look pretty deadly to me..." she paces a little, grumbling, trying to think back to her dream. "Phoenix said I had to follow the footsteps...but I don't see any footsteps..." she muses.
Katyna Katyna glances around as the others join her. It seems the rats are nasty but not like, deadly. Or at least they're not attacking yet. Well, that's a relief. As they continue down the path, they find themselves at a junction, with two separate doors. "Huh." she scratches her head, "Well, I'm totally voting for the skull and cross bones. I'll bet its a pirate's treasure trove. At least it's often the symbol for pirates. I totally dont trust that hangman door."

She's about to head for that door when Warden makes his entrance. Well, he seems to know Maira and Avira, although Kat doesn't recognize him outside of that pirate ship shindig the other day. But still....Cool! A pirate! It's always been one of her secret wishes!

"Wow, a real live pirate! That's so awesome~! Is this like, your treasure trove or something? And....err..." Oh, it looks like he's friends of Avira and Maira's? Or maybe not. Wait, stalker. "Is this your place? Warden huh? That's a funny name for a pirate.."
Warden Thache "I think I already did, love." Warden replies towards Avira as hte rats scatter away from him. A smirk crossing his face. He's wearing his usual outfit, though there is a strange blowing purple band around his left wrist. Obviously something from the Grid if anyone is that intrested in looking.

Spooks hops up himself, and accept he snuggle as his due. Happily draped in Maira's arms. "Well we /are/ good at thinking like thieves."

"Even if we arn't thieves. We are pirates." A pause from Warden. "There /is/ a difference."

Warden though tilts his head to one side as he regards the odd markings. "Well I'm partial to the skull and crossbones personally. Obviously. And the mark of death would be appropriate for a phoenix. They do have to die before being reborn?"

A pause again before he smirks slightly and bows towards Katyna. "Warden Thache, at your service. Pirate not a stalker, and yes. I'm a rather funny pirate. Lady Wolf likes me." He adds with a wink towards Avira.
Deelel Deelel watches as Katyna and Maira are cleaning out the rate or it seems to be something strange about them. She looks and readies her disc the moment she gets the idea of how dangerous they are. She takes note of the wall and what names that could actually be understood and makes note of them.

"It's one of those days."

She looks as Warden shows up and she moves to throw her disc at some of the monster rats. They need to clear these things out, pretty darn quick and hey they got Cat Man now, err Warden, it's all good now, right? Humm footsteps you say? Never a Sentry around when you need one..."

Where /was/ Tron? Or Beck for that matter? Beck was tracking the Shadow Lords last she knew to rescue Mara and Deelel was doing what she could in that department.
Maira Maira snuggles Spooks gently, then lays him around her shoulders like a little racoon scarf, her smile bright if brief. A decision has to be made! "Let's my dream, there was a golden was a symbol they wore. Maybe neither of these are the right entrance. Maybe this is a hidden entrance...the real one. Just like the entrance down was hidden in the sand," she comments, beginning to move around the caverns, more closely examining the markings on the walls.

Maira looks back toward Warden, frowning thoughtfully. "How did you know that's why we are here..?"
Warden Thache Warden gives the fire mage a withering if amused look. "Treasure? Did you /really/ think I wouldn't find out about burried treasure?" A pause. "And you /arn't/ the most subtle of caravan's, love."
Lionheart The trail of the Fourty Thieves is so simple as it may first have appeared. But Avira is right, this doesn't seem to be the same lair that is spoken about in all of those stories. Maybe they moved shop when the worlds converged and too many random humans seemed to know the magic words to get into their home base? It's a possiblity. Whatever this place is, it's clearly been occupied recently. Other than the skeleton, which seems to be put there on purpose, the rest of the place looks immaculate. No dust or sand on the floor at all. Ther are a few rat droppings though. Watch your step.

"This is an enchanted pooper-scooper. You could buy it for Mr. Kitty. I'm sure it would come in very hand when he decides to leave you presents." The merchant pops his head in from the corner of the camera and waggles a catbox-sifter in the air.

You can hear the sound of the narrator face-palming.

With the party mostly having agreed on their plan to move forward, (the Narrator pauses as if to make sure, then carries on.) the -- (he starts to go on, only to be interrupted by Maira's sudden change in plans. There is a rustling of notes.) Right. As Maira begins to examine the room, she'd find that there is one particular name that stands out among the others. Cassim. Besides the name, there just so happens to be a symbol of a hand drawn in red ink. Definitely the right place, but there doesn't seem to be any secret entrance.

"Tell them to get on with it already. This isn't even the good part." The merchant is back, munching on something that looks distinctly like ROUS on a stick. And isn't that the pooper-scooper floating off on it's own towards the desert? Well, it is like a giant cat-box, and there is a giant cat out there, somewhere.

Once they do decide to move forward, it would become clear that the skull path is probably the better choice. There is a mechanical sound that seems to be coming from the direction of the other passage - and it sounds grindy-smashy.

It's hard to fit more than two people side by side down the tunnel, and soon enough it seems to empty into nothingness. There is a passage that continues on the other side, but the only way across seems to be to hop on these little, rickety looking suspended platforms.

It's platforming time!
Avira "Follow the footsteps?" Avira suddenly pauses, "Footsteps as in the sound? Maybe there's something we need to be listening for?" She suggests to her best friend. Oh. Warden, Warden. "Watch out, Maira, he might steal your potions again." she warns, remembering what happened the last time she snuggled Spooks.

Warden earns himself a bristling Avira. "I do /not/." she blurts out defensively. "He's stalking us, Maira. he probably overheard us at some moment." Unless he's listening in on their radio conversations to. ...can pirates do that? Wiretapping doesn't seem like a pirate thing.

The skull path is chosen and Avira moves carefully, clearly expecting some kind of boobytraps in the way...because that sort of thing is common in thief lairs. So is platforming, apparently.

At this point, Avira lips her Spine away. Without hesitation, she stars leaping along the platforms, landing softly and moving swiftly. They barely even swing with her passing.
Maira Maira narrows her eyes slightly at Warden's response, then sighs, grumbling. "Guess so...don't you try to run off with the egg though, okay? Please? It's really important to me," she says, looking up at him with wide, hopeful eyes. Who could resist that look!? And she has an adorable racoon around her neck!

Maira notes the name, feels around for any kind of secret passage, then shrugs and moves the the skull path. Guess they are going this way. Its probably better than the grindy smashing noises from the other direction. Yikes.

Maira comes to the platforms and all the swinging bridges, eyes widening slightly. "Goodness, do they have to do this every time they enter their lair?" she asks no one in particular, beginning to follow Avira, trying to do things the way she does in order to get through safely.

Unfortunately, Maira is no Avira. Maira is the girl who sits out of gym class. Jumping around isn't really her /thing/.
Katyna "Wow, a real-live pirate!" Katyna beams at Warden. "That is SO COOL!" Did she mention before that she always wanted to be a pirate when she grew up? What could be more romantic than that......Ignoring that pirates actually killed a lot of innocents? Well...Let's just gloss over that, shall we?

"Nice t'meetcha, I'm Katyna!" she decides not to taunt poor Avira again with her ability to attract many male admirers. Besides they're busy trying not to get killed by hidden traps or whatever.

Fortunately, it seems that everyone has elected for the Skull n' Crossbones door and Katyna happily follows in, half-expecting to see a treasure trove. But alas, they are not so lucky, and in stead they find themselves in a dark room with moving platforms..

"Heh, no sweat! Piece of cake!" She's not usually particularly fast or agile, but this time (lucky perhaps?), she manages to avoid falling into the pit below.
Warden Thache "The more you protest, love!" Warden calls out as he waves one hand towards Avira. "And see! At least someone appriciates my roguish appeal!" He tips his hat towards Katyna before turning his attention to the door.

The sounds from the other exit do not sound nearly as promising.

"And I'm not stalking, but if you /really/ thought I'd leave treasure out of the cards then you don't know me near as well as you thought you might."

The platforming portion of this game is eyed with distaste. "I don't know why every jumped up thief lord thinks bits like this is a good idea. Horrid waste of space and time and money. Makes no sense at all." It seems they have to play along however, and soon enough the Pirate his leaping forwards. He touches one platform. Then the second one.

The third one he /almost/ misses but lands solidly enough to leap on without too much of a scramble.

He even has time to gesture almost lazily and send one of his golden rope constructs back to give others who arn't as good as things like leaping and walking on air something to grasp and help climb.
Deelel Deelel is fast she's quick on her feet, but she's not perfect and she's about to find out at this point. With the rats no longer an issue. They move forward and are going from platform to platform as they go.

"This is just easy, just like back home in some plac..."

Deelel never finishes her words as she lets out a cry, why? The platform has given out and she's force to shift rapidly. This is where Deelel's reflexes do save her. She's quickly got a hold of one of the wires and just barely has kept from falling.

"Forget I said that!"
Lionheart Luckily, the designers of this level only thought to add one platforming bit. Once everyone is across, it looks as if it's smooth sailing, at least for a few feet and around a corner to the right. Once they get this far into the hide-out, small signs of recent activity become more visible. There are sandy footprints along the floor from many, many large - sometimes mishappen feet. Oddly, there seem to be lanterns lit in this portion of the tunnels, making the need for 'human torch' mode not strictly necessary, even if it is impressive.

"Oh, they're almost to the part where --" The merchant starts, only to have the Narrator clamp a hand over his mouth to cover the rest with mumbling.

"Shh. You'll ruin the surprise."

The shorter hallway exits into a larger room. It almost looks like a meeting room, with well worn tables and benches. The smell of wine gone 'off' taints the air. The room looks abandoned, but probably within the last few days. For those with 'Enhanced Senses: Shinies!', the first thing they would notice is a particularly large gemstone sitting right out on a pillar. It's extra sparkly. Ooooo.

Those more keen eyed members of the party might sense the trap, but those party members who cannot resist the pull of treasure will soon find themselves caught like rats. The whole room is triggered like a giant mouse-trap, with huge iron bars that shoot out of the ground to catch unsuspecting victims.
Avira "Probably. Or there's a secret passageway we missed where they can cicrcumvent it entirely. Think of it this way, if they had to do this every time they came into their lair, they'd be very, very good at it and could do it really easily." Avira's quick to point out. "Maira! Deelel!" she calls back before grabbing Warden by the arm and making him direct his energy ropes over to those two.

She couldn't see the bottom of the cavern which was clearly bad!

Going onwards, Avira does notice the smell of sour wine. She falls silent, looking for more recent signs of inhabitation than the footprints. She's worried that they'll round a corner and find forty thieves waiting.

Upon seeing that nice, shiny, shiny gem, Avira stops and stares. That rock was huge and probably worth tons of money. But to see it so prominently displayed atop that pillar. "-probably boobytrapped." Avira's quick to say, hoping that by saying this it'll keep CERTAIN PEOPLE from trying to steal it.
Maira Having gotten distracted by a particularly interesting radio converstion does not help Maira's physical grace. When leaping across a platform, she doesn't quite make it! Luckily, a golden rope has been provided, to which Maira clings and uses to pull herself up the rest of the way, perhaps with a bit of help from Warden. "Guh..." is all she says, then looks to Warden and flashes him a smile. "Thanks!" she says, giving Spooks some scritchings before they continue onward. Indeed, no picking Maira's pockets! Though her most valuable thing is around her neck, the amber necklace given to her by Phoenix.

Maira goggles when she enters the room and sees the large gem on the pillar. Oh gosh oh gosh its so SHINY! She doesn't go for it however. Too obviously a trap! What she does instead is reach out and grab Katyna before she can reach to swipe it. "No touchy!" Maira whispers harshly. "Obviously a trap."

Maira looks around then, poking about very carefully, wondering where they should go next, at a loss.

The woman sighs, then inhales slowly, closing her eyes for a moment as she reaches up to touch the amber necklace. Phoenix is weak, but maybe, just maybe, he might be able to at least nudge her in the correct direction. "If you can hear me..." she breathes, hopeful.
Warden Thache God.

Why does everyone think he will just leap after the giant shiny thing? Warden might be a pirate but he's not /that/ dumb. Its obviously a trap. A trap is a terrible thing and Warden isn't one to just leap head-first into it. Instead he just gives Avira and Maira a withering look.

"Of course its a trap. Thats why they always put it out in the open. You would be amazed how many people actually fall for that!"

Spooks? Spooks is struggling in Maira's arms trying to get at the shiny. His eyes little hypnocircles. "Its obviously a shiny!!"

Warden just faceplams.
Deelel Deelel has to swing it like a certain man of the jungle, thankfully she is able to watch out for that tree as she makes it across safely. She comes int for a landing and lands with a crouch she pauses looking at the gem for a moment she pauses looks at it closely and grimaces something does not feel right about it.

"Don't touch that." Her warning could be too late.

She looks seeing Avira and Maira know it's rotten she looks at Warden for a moment okay he's good it's Spooks they go to worry about it seems.

"So shall we move on?"
Lionheart The lure of treasure does seem to be a bit too obvious, but these are also fourty men who do nothing but steal and hoard treasure. Clearly, they believe that everyone else is as grabby-hands as they are when it comes to valueables. The fact that there is a trap there at all suggests that someone might have tipped them off that there were people searching for them. They must have cleared out.

When Maira gives her heart-felt plea, a tiny hint of magic sparks from the bit of fire-touched amber. It shoots out, catching the gem and triggering the trap to go off with all of our heroes still safely outside. The little beam of energy seems to taper off afterwards, leaving the amber faintly glowing in the aftermath.

The sound of the contraption triggering seems to draw out something else. "Hehe! Someone got caught in the trap!" The voice that sounds into the hall seems to have the mental age of about a ten year old. A huge, bulky looking man with a tubby belly comes barreling down a set of stairs, expecting to find someone trapped inside, but instead, he is greeted with a full party of freed treasure-hunters.

"Yur supposed to be in the trap!" He announces, pointing as if this would convince them all to just... you know, pile on in. "Sa'luk said if anyone gets trapped. Kill em. But he didn't say what to do if no one gets trapped."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the best and brightest the Fourty Thieves have to offer.
Warden Thache Warden leans over towards Avira. "You would object if I just shot him wouldn't you?"
Maira Maira's eyes open as she feels warmth eminating from the pendant, taking a small step back in surprise as a light shoots from it toward the gem, activating the trap with them still standing outside.

Blinking in confusion, Maira looks to the others. Before she can say anything, the sound of footsteps stop her voice. A chubby sort of man comes down from a stairway, elated that he's caught adventurers in his trap--or, well, his employers trap.

Maira looks to Warden then, frowning and shaking her head. "No, but those ropes of yours could be put to good use," she says, approaching the man.

"Well, maybe you should take us to this Sa'luk guy and we can talk to him ourselves," she suggests. "We have business."

If he tries to run, she will have an air spell ready to push him off his feet, hopefully.
Lionheart The tubby thief's lower jaw sticks out, two of his teeth sticking up over his upper lip. He sort of stands there with this dumb look on his face, fiddling with some sort of gray, curved object in his hand. "Nuh uh. Sa'luk said I can't tell no one that they went to steal that coin from the duck. It's a secret." He puts a finger over his mouth and makes a 'ssssshhh' sound. "Nope, can't tell no one."

The big dumb lug doesn't seem to realize that he's spilled the beans, and just continues to toy with whatever it is he's holding. As Maira gets closer, the amber pendant seems to react to it, though. Could what he's holding be what Phoenix was referring to when he told her that she might find other things on her journey?

"Kitty!" He seems to have finally noticed Warden. Clapping his hands, the thief seems terribly amused by this fact. They must keep him around for a reason, right? That reason becomes clear a moment later when he walks over, flips a table as if it were nothing, and opens up a little trap door underneath. "I like kitties... Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, little ball of fur. Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty, purr, purr, purr." He sing-songs this to himself while pulling out what looks to be a wooden box.

When he opens it up, it reveals... you guessed it, ladies and gentlemen. Treasure. One of these is a golden bell with jewels on it, which the thief wiggles in Warden's direction. "Kitty want a toy?" The rest of what's in the box seems to be odd little silver or gold trinkets. There's probably enough for everyone in the party to nab one. He's too distracted in that moment to pay much attention, and he even sets down that curved gray object he was fiddling with earlier, too.
Avira The obvious trap turns out to be not only that but unfortunately what they came here to find. Avira inwardly sighs about this and starts to look around, though stopping when Maira triggers the trap remotely. "A start, very nice Maira." she compliments, now concerned about how to extract the jewel to them.

"I would object." Avira's close to shoot back. "No killing on my watch."

Not that she expects people to really adhere to this preference of hers (and others). Well. Maybe they'll listen because this man is clearly the mental age of a child. A really, really /dumb/ child. Besides, look at this guy, babying WARDEn like a kitty. That is hilarious. Avira can barely keep a straight face. ""The kitty likes being pet too." she adds, throwing Warden a smirk.

While the man is distracted, Avira slips around sideways t othat strange curved grey object. Time to find out what that is!
Maira Maira blinks at the man, then smiles kindly. "Alright, don't worry. I won't say anything," she says to him. Steal a duck's coin? Whaaat? If this were a couple of years ago she'd think he was completely mad. Now though? Just kind of dumb. Poor thing.

Her gaze focuses on the grey object he's holding in his hands. The amber of her necklace grows warmer, like an ember against her skin. Her brow furrows, watching...

His reaction to Warden almost breaks her. She begins shaking, tears rising in her eyes...oh by Phoenix but she is trying SO HARD not to laugh out loud. Yes, oh yes put a bell on Warden please please. That would be the best possible thing!

Maira moves when the man sets the grey object down. The gems and bits of gold and silver don't even catch her attention. Only the curved grey object.

Maira reaches for it when he sets it down, snatching it up quickly and examining it closely. Could it be...?

Of course, when Avira quips that the kitty likes to be pet, a giggles escapes despite all her efforts.
Warden Thache "Keep that up Avira and I'm turning you into a ball of yarn," Warden growls towards the ice witch as she makes a comment of him enjoys being pet. "If he tries he might loose a hand." The pirate adds as he flicks his wrist just slightly, a curl of energy rope wrapping around Avira's ankle and snaking just a little up her leg before retracting.

A pause. "Sorry love. They have a mind of their own sometimes."

However with a sigh he relents in being a distraction to the big child-like man and /not/ just shooting him in the face. "Yes yes. I wouldn't mind a bell and all." His ears are pinned back and his tail twitching just slightly in annoyance.

Maira gets a glare as well. Don't you DARE laugh!!
Deelel Deelel also suspects some less obvious traps out there. There has to be a few in the group who would be more on the ball in that regard. She suspect the leader likely has a few other traps set. She pauses at what happens with Maira's move she smirks at the arriving men.


She thinks these guys are likely null units however what she was not expecting is what they got to say. She just tares now, mouth hanging open at what's happening here, she gets it back together but she's snickering she's can't help it. Her strange warbling snicker can be heard by Warden, but it's clear she's trying not to...
Lionheart "Heeee!" The tubby thief hands wiggles the bell, and then hands it over neat as you please. He doesn't even try to pet the 'kitty' in the process. In fact, he just tands there and claps his hands together, looking pleased as punch.

As Avira and Maira look closer at the gray object, it becomes clear that it is actually a piece of a wyvern talon. Could the fact that Phoenix's pendant reacted to it mean that it's something more than that, though? They'd have to find out.

When the thief turns around, he looks more serious, though. "You can't stay here. Sa'luk will be mad, and when he gets mad he..." He points up at the wall, where there are distinct three-bladed claw marks. "I tell him that I got rid of tresspassers." He puffs his chest out proudly.

As if this were all some sort of game, the thief starts to hum the 'kitty' song again, hopping between stones on the floor, until he finally steps on one that opens up a passage upwards. Neat as you please, there's a set of stairs leading back to the surface. "Don't come back, okay? Otherwise they'll be really mad. Okay?"
Maira Maira stashes the talon quickly and smoothly in a surprisingly competitent slight of hand.

What? You learn things in the slums of Goug, okay?

Maira moves closer to the thief, smiling still. "Alright, we'll go...but maybe you could help us? We don't want to get you in trouble, we're just looking for something...Sa'luk, do you know if he maybe has an egg with him? Or have you seen one anywhere...?" she asks. Its worth a try!
Lionheart "Egg?" The thief stops next to the stairs and looks at Maira. "Cassim said it was worth lots. Like, magic powers lots." He scratches at one ear, toeing at the ground nervously. "Sa'luk took it when he left, but he wasn't supposed to. You're not gonna tell Cassim and get him into trouble, are you?"
Maira Maira shakes her head, her smile persisting. "No no, of course not. I won't tell. Thank you for your help Mr...?" she asks. He'd never said his name. She doesn't want to remember him as 'tubby thief' that's terrible!
Lionheart "Uh..." It's probably been a long time since anyone has asked him his name. In fact, most members of the Fourth Thieves are pretty much interchangable. "Basim." He murmurs shyly. Waiting around for them to depart, you can bet that he will take his chance to finger-waggle at Waren, and hum the kitty song one more time.
Avira Avira doesn't say anything right away, electing to continue smirking at Warden. Eventually she lowers her voice. "Oh but I bet you wish /some/ people here were petting you." she giggles.

The harassment with an energy rope earns a bit of a frown. An unamused frown, OF COURSE.

Unfortunately, it turns out that their quarry might not even be here. Why was the talon glowing though? They'll find out later because Maira swipes the talon like a boss and extracts the important bit of information that the egg certainly isn't here. "Well we'll be on our way, then. Kitty, wave bye bye, okay?"
Warden Thache "If you're /offering/ love, I wouldn't say no." Warden shoots right back towards Avira as the cat takes the bell and jingles it a little bit. "And no. I'm not wearing this so you can keep track of me."

He gives her a flat eyed look, then Maria gets one too with his ears still pinned back in annoyance. However he will sigh and give the guy a short wave before he is starting to back off with the rest of them.

"I'll get you all for this one day."
Maira "Thank you Basim. It was nice to meet you," she says, then heads over to the exit. She really does hope he doesn't get in trouble.

Maira grins toward Warden, reaching up to snuggle Spooks again, who she imagines is amused.

Once up the stairs and back into the desert, Mao trots over to meet Maira, warking happily. Maira pulls the talon out of her bag and examines it again. "Well, at least we got looks like a talon. Something about it..." she trails off. "So, a duck with a coin...."

Looks like the quest continues!
Deelel Deelel can't help but giggle as she moves on with the others. It's time to get out of here and she's going to get the heck out of here. She's happy it didn't end in a fight. The theives being dense may have saved their own lives oddly enough. So away she goes and she's got some image work to do once they get out of here. She also may or may not be humming Arabian nights as she leaves.

This scene contained 48 poses. The players who were present were: Lionheart, Katyna, Avira, Deelel, Maira, Warden Thache