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Walls of Wind
(2013-01-25 - 2013-01-26)
Sandstorms have begun to regularly beset the walls of Fluorgis, and the massive sandworms that thread their way through the surrounding desert have entered a state of heightened agitation, making caravan travel all but impossible and rendering the famous fountain city nearly besieged. What with all the troubles that have arisen, no one knows how long the map etched upon the newborn Desert Rose will remain valid, or even to what it leads. Yet the Shard Seekers' new (and somewhat dubious) shard-seeking device indicates that the map is no ruse, and may lead to something precious indeed. Could the Desert Rose somehow hold the key to saving Fluorgis in its time of dire need? A brave group of adventurers set out to ruins deep in the desert, through hordes of monsters and terrible walls of wind, to discover what treasure lies in wait. But even Sandworms may be the least of their problems, as the darkness gathers...
Ivo Galvan Miles from any human habitation, the desert's merciless expanse gives way to red cliffs and parched plateaus, the shade within the canyons below the only respite from the beating sun. The grueling trek across this blasted landscape would itself test the resolve of any redoubtable adventurer, but even the exhaustion and tedium are preferable to an encounter with the gargantuan sandworms which burrow beneath the surface of the sands. Rumors persist that the monsters have grown increasingly agitated as of late.

Moreover, traveling from Fluorgis puts into perspective just how strange the events that have befallen that city are. Strange dark clouds swirl over the city of fountains and flowers, while the rest of the desert bakes in heat; while sandstorms rage repeatedly against the city's walls, out here the air is deathly still. The difference is eerie, and a strange tension can be felt. The absence of smaller beasts or monsters suggests that others feel it, too.

Yet it is to these sand-blasted canyons that the Desert Rose has led. The etchings on its living crystal petals, when transcribed, formed a map that led to this forbidding place. Despite the dangers befalling Fluorgis now, or perhaps because of them, the city council called upon adventurers to seek out whatever treasure the Rose bespoke of. The Rose has only just bloomed -- who knows how long its map will remain accurate, if at all?

Only one way to find out.


Ivo Galvan, his nose and mouth shrouded from sand with a white and navy blue scarf, narrows his blue eyes at the odd little device dangling from his fingertips, what appears to be a pendulum which descends from a set of brass knuckles festooned with gears and magnets. The Shard Seeker swordsman raises an eyebrow, his typical playful nonchalance betrayed by his curiosity and concern.

"...Why's the Shard Seeker device reacting, though...?"

It points deeper into the canyons, where lifeless plateaus loom above and the sand is strewn with rocks and the shriveled husks of plants. Ivo checks the transcription of the map in his other hand, then glances back at the device.

"Could the treasure really be a World Shard?" he mumbles to himself. Oddly, rather than excited, he sounds somehow worried. But surely Ivo isn't dubious of the capabilities of the device he himself invented.

Shaking himself out of it, he turns toward his fellow adventurers, those others who have agreed to take on the city of Fluorgis's request in its time of need, and smiles amiably despite his fatigue. "Everyone holding up alright?"
Priel Aylin "Are you sure that thing isn't just leading us in the wrong direction?"

Priel asked, about a step or two behind Ivo. Her faith in this 'shard seeking device' was at a generous level In fact, there were so many other things she could be doing with her time. Yet, despite that, here she was. In this godforsaken desert, following the whims of some random device that they weren't even sure would work correctly.

"Don't tell me that this is your first practical application of this piece of junk. It's not, right?"


"...Riiiiiight?" She asked again, increasing her walking pace till they were side by side, slowing down to a stop then. Her tail waved about in irritation, betraying her true emotions regarding the matter perhaps, as there was a pleasant smile on her face otherwise.

Well either way, if it turned out to be a waste of time, she could just leave them all.

Yeah. That sounded like a great idea!

Nothing like abandoning your allies in the worst possible moments to bring friends together!
Katyna After the Shard Seekerss and VALKYRI had uncovered the desert rose together, it was only natural that they would work together to unearth whatever treasures were revealed from the resultant map. Katyna of course would have gone for the treasure regardless, ever the greedy young knight..

These days however, she's a little less...Wicked, than she used to be, feeling just a bit more loyal and protective towards her comrades than she once did. Still, her lust for treasure and riches and power never ceased altogether, they're just overriden by the knightly oaths that the visit by Sir Kasrillen's ghost had renewed in her.

Katyna doesn't seem too bothered by the desert heat although she'd switched from her heavy steel armour into her lighter leather tunic as she travelled through the blazing sun, unperturbed by the unrelenting heat. She's already acquired a nice golden tan from many days spent in the sun and heat.

"Heh, never better. Always good to come prepared!" Kat grins as she holds up her water bottle, although she had been careful to take only small sips from it. "Are we close?" She grins at Ivo, having found him quite amusing the last couple times they met. This should be fun with him in charge!
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart is always ready to help out when it comes to Shard Seekers, VALKYRI or TDA. She's been offering her fists whenever the time came for it.

But ugh, she's starting to hate this town. Its so sandy, of course being in a desert. Couldn't there be like a tropical town or a more temperate town to be a trouble magnet instead? ~_~

Like Ivo she wrapped herself in scarves to defend against the sandy wind. Her leather suit is good preotection for her body, but she's still starting to feel a bit dry under the sun and heat.

"A shard huh?" She peeks over Ivo's shoulder "Its reason enough to investigate at least, wether or not its true. Its important, and I think we'd all feel bad if we ignored it." She looks back to the others, nodding. There's a few people she knows at least in there. Katyna at the very least.
Avira Avira had quite the dilemma.

She knew that, via Reize, the Shard Seekers were actually working on a device that would detect world shards. She'd learned this a very long time ago back when she first met the young adventurer. Not only that, but it was -Ivo- that was inventing it. At the time, and since then, she hadn't really put much stock into this idea. She knew nothing of his invention skills so she just assumed that Ivo was far too much of a scoundrel to do anyting productive.

So Avira was floored when she heard rumors that it was actually 'working.' Apart from being part of the retrieval of the Desert Rose and thus fully entitled to following the provided map, her reasons here included scoping out this device.

And maybe, just maybe, figuring out a way to take advantage of it to locate the remaining parts of her world.

Accustomed to the desert, having spent a good amount of time in Rabanastre now, the VALKYRI commander silently, and grudgingly following after Ivo.

"Oh yes, of course." Avira says sweetly. "A trip to the desert is rather routine for us."
Gesandte The giant man moves along the smaller adventurers on this trek to find whatever it is that needs to be found. Out here, more for spiritual and because it could be dangerous for others more so then caring himself about what this treasure could be. though that's not to say he isn't curious as to what it is, it just isn't his more primary reason or focus on this journey.

Watching side to side his greater height allowing him to see further and in greater detail the bland sandy dunes of what can be seen through the swirls to make sure they aren't jumped or ambushed at any given time, but it continues to be clear for the most part. Arriving at the caverns he looks around them, not liking the cleaerly dangerous passage and the walls of it. Bringing his hand up to his book he recites several muttered prayers to safeguard them all as they move through the cavernous area

Though he also keeps an eye on those he sees and knows in the group, they should not have to have problems dealt to them that he can quite easily keep them safe from. As their leader speaks up, he but lightly grumbles, "We are fine, if not full of sand."
Raiya Fujihara Some individuals are meant to wander. They find solace in their travels and are more well-accustomed to the perils, hardships, and boredom that some may encounter on a trip such as this. Raiya Fujihara is one of the former and seems quite content with the progress they have made thus far.

Dressed in her usual black and purple kimono with a wide-brimmed sun-hat, the samurai casually strolls among her fellow Shard Seekers and travellers with one hand being used to tilt her hat down in order to keep sand from blasting up into her eyes. Her other hand routinely hovers near her sheathed katana blade that is worn securely at her hip. The normally stoic samurai has been stubbornly silent for most of this journey. But this really is nothing unusual when it comes to all things Raiya. This is merely business as usual for the still wandering ronin.

The Wutai warrior comes to a halt and nods toward Tifa. "Only one way to find out for sure." Raiya lifts her hat slightly to reveal a smile before lowering it back down.

There are indeed quite a few familiar faces in the crowd. A very auspicious way to start any adventure in Raiya's mind. The fact that many of them are skilled fighters as well is merely icing on this desert cake.
Kim Possible Kim Possible doesn't know much about shards or what they are, but she's willing to check into it. She arrives with Tifa, having met her once before and deciding to follow her lead, a scarf wrapped around her to protect her from the sands. "Wow, this place is totally too sandy for even the biggest beach possible!" She says to nobody in particular as she looks around. "But I can do anything, and whatever this shard thing is, I'm sure we can take care of it!"
Maira While most everyone is sweating and appearing fairly miserable from the dry heat of the desert, Maira looks perfectly comfortable, per usual, since maintaining a normal body temperature appears to be a nonissue for the young mage. She is dressed for battle in that she wears her fireproof clothing and boots. The only addition is a white scarf in her hair that she can pull down over her eyes and mouth in case of blowing sand.

Of course, Maira had come with VALKYRI, close on Avira and Katyna's heels and totally NOT hungover from a certain party she'd thrown last night. It seemed as though everyone had enjoyed themselves though, so she felt rather accomplished beneath her headache (which is surely unrelated!).

Upon arrival and meet-up with Ivo and the other Shard Seekers, she had noticed with a warm smile and a slight blush that Ivo is wearing the scarf she knitted for him. Then however, she remembers what Katyna had said the other night, and tries to scale back her enthusiasm some, moving her gaze away to greet all the others. Aha! Raiya! Maira waves shyly to the beautiful samurai before scooting a little closer to Avira. "Yeah, we might as well go in and see what we can find..."
There have been reports that some strange activities have been going on in the desert. Resources were tied up for the Archades Empire as there was bigger things sometimes to worry about. Though for Judge Magister Gabranth, he decided he need to take his chocobo out for a run and investigate into matters himself.

The desert area was close enough to one of the cities Archades held and it would be a shame if something from out here was to come endangering the fair city. So riding across the sun is a chocobo armored in dark judge armor with ram like horns as part of the decoration on the bird.

Riding on the bird was the Judge Magister himself. His dark armor not shimmering in the sun, but seeming to rather absorb the light. The part that flickered with light was the markings across the armor that seem to change between gold and silver. His leathery cape almost resisting the wind from the speeding bird across the hot sand.

As they arrived up on a cliff, the Chocobo came to a slow walk, kwehing and chipping softly as Gabranth held the reigns in one hand, looking across the sea of sand. Those blue eyes examining the landscape for any odd activity.

Eventually something off in the distance, where he has to squint his eyes a bit to see, seem to be a gathering of people off in the distance. He hrms softly, gently pulling on the reigns a bit to keep the Chocobo still.

For now, he would just observe from afair as the wind moves across his side, but finds the cape not such an easy thing to move as it wisps by flicking up a few shards of sand into the air.
TRON Avira may be used to the desert. TRON is not.

Oh, he's not bothered by the heat or the sand. Not even the wind making the other two even worse to deal with. No, it's just so drastically different compared to anything else he knows and he's not sure if he likes it or not.

As it stands, though, he's just following Avira as they trudge along, following the directions of another. He's wearing a heavy cloak covering him from head to toe and shielding his face from the wind, using a staff a few inches taller than his 6'2" frame as a walking stick.

He doesn't say anything, his hood bobbing in an implied nod of greeting to those assembling around them.
Nagetta Nagetta's doing her best to help out the shard seekers even if she's not offically a member yet. At least she didn't have to worry about the light geting in her eyes with the clouds present overhead. On the other hand sand is an issue as she pulls her hat down. Her scarf is also pulled over her mouth, she can feel the sand stick to her scales, it was a bit uncomfortable. Hopefully they would find what they're looking for soon.
Lily An array of affirmative-seeming MUFFLED noises is the main response Ivo gets from the bundle of white cloths that's walking next to his side.

A bundle of white cloths with blue eyes showing. This is how LIly deals with the horrible sands and heat and sun that's too much for even her magic to fend off for extended journeys.

The girl's out! She's adventuring! She's stomping along next to Ivo and looking about every which way.

Then, as if overdue for such an event, she's tripping on a pile of sand and tumbling right towards Ivo with a muffled yelp.
Deelel Deelel is out in the wastes again it's a strange place really. Still she couldn't have let Ivo go alone right? So here she is getting sand in places she didn't even know she had. It's kinda distrbning. "I have no idea, and I'm functional well enough."
Emi Dennou Shida and Umi have come along on this adventure. Emi and Imi are relaly tired today and haven't been able to make it to this adventure. But at the same time, going in search of a world shard is something she's gotta do. Even if, of course, the functionality of the device is certainly in question. They do not appear to have any innate protection against the sun beyond their clothing and as such are sweating up a storm in the desert. They, both, give Maira something resembling a smile. And they also both cringe as Lily tumbles at Ivo.
Terra Branford Reize had assured Terra that she would go on adventures, but she hadn't known it would be so soon. Following Raiya tended to lead to trouble, which was never Terra's aim, and yet somehow she kept doing it. Raiya wandered because she couldn't forget, Terra because she couldn't remember, but both had a case a loose feet, and when it came down to it, that was more important than the reasons.

Terra follows a few paces behind Raiya, in her typical red silks, gossamer cape, and detached sleeves. She's glad to see so many others here. The more of them, the less chance she will be forced into a bad situation. A shudder runs through her at the thought of having to use magic, after the horrifying results last time. Perhaps this shard can even be recovered peacefully?

"I'm all right," she answers Ivo. "A little sandy," she mutters to herself. Her light clothing suits the desert well, though her pale skin does not. She nods briefly to Tifa, who looks particularly pugnacious, and makes a note of others who might be good to hide behind.
Ivo Galvan "There's a treasure map, Priel," Ivo says calmly, all the way looking off into the horizon, as though it holds some special matter for his attention which requires him to not meet her eyes as the redheaded dragongirl leans in. "The Shard Seeker device is operating in accordance with it. So there's no problem, right?" But his previous mumblings suggest he /does/ think there's a problem, or at least a mystery. The fact that there's a map transcribed on the petals of a living crystal which blooms once every hundred years is wild enough, but why would it lead to a World Shard, when the worlds were shattered not so long ago? "I'll bet you a pouch of gold that we find something exciting," he adds, to distract her.

"Seems like it," he replies to Katyna, grinning back at her. That girl always seems to catch him in-- compromising situations, which he always does his best to handle with aplomb, and which she seems to enjoy. Well, that's the kind of attitude he likes. "Good to be working together this time. You guys brought your maid outfits, right? This place seems pretty dusty." He somehow manages to obviously direct that at Avira without actually looking at Avira. But bantering with VALKYRI seems to relax Ivo, a look of vague amusement returning. Honestly, it's good to be working with them. ...Shard Seekers are still better, though.

He doesn't recognize Gesandte, but the big man is certainly-- reliable looking. Tifa, of course, is always a stalwart companion. Nagetta seems to be hanging in there, fortunately. He doesn't recognize Kim from any prior adventurers, but her comments so far have been supremely spirited, and at her words, Ivo's grin broadens. "Thank goodness we have someone who can do anything," he says playfully. "I'll be counting on you, Kim." The fusion of the worlds sure has brought some characters around.

Back in good spirits, Ivo, without even batting an eye, catches little Lily as she falls toward him, righting the muffled girl with a brotherly pat on her shoulder, all one continuous motion which he has performed countless times since they've met. "You're doing a great job, Lily," he says, the warmth of his gaze for once turning more affectionate than amused. Regarding the rest of his fellow Shard Seekers, he nods with a smile at Deelel, and turns to Terra, of whom Reize has told him. "Glad to hear it," he says. Well, not the sandy part. "Good to have you with us, Terra." His eyes shift toward the woman Terra's now behind, Raiya-- only to hesitate slightly, gazing at his sword teacher and now fellow Seeker in silence, seeing her just as she smiles at Tifa. His expression reveals nothing, but perhaps the sudden show of self-constraint is itself revealing. He looks away, just in time to see Maira flushing at she looks at him, causing Ivo's amused smile to return. But before he can tease her, she looks away to greet the others, causing him to blink in surprise. Somehow, he feels a little chastened. Well, that's what you get for trying to tease girls while on a mission.

Their sizable group continues to venture deeper into the canyon, picking their way through the sand. Whereas outside the canyons the desert was still and the wind offering no respite from the brutal sun, within their winding corridors eddies of wind shift and whorl, threatening to send dust and pebbles at the unwary. The trek is arduous, and the sheer number of branching paths -- the canyon riven by impassable spires, fragments of long-ago eroded cliffs -- are almost dizzying, indistinguishable. Getting lost here could be very dangerous, and even climbing up one of these cliffs to get a view would be a perilous task, the rock fragmented and steeply sloped outward. But for all that nature has sundered this place, the map is shockingly accurate in the path it wends. Eventually, the adventurers will pass through to round a corner, and enter into a wide open space -- and hear the sound of a great tempest.

It is as though the adventurers have stepped into a vast stone pot: cliffs of rock curve up on all sides up to severe points, seemingly impossible to traverse, only the blue sky above and sand below. That nature could produce such an enclosure seems improbable, but natural it appears. On the far side of the area is what appears to be a carved outdoor stone monument, steps leading up to a pillar. Though distant, some distinct design appears affixed to the pillar. But the entire monument is surrounded by a perpetual whirlwind, some mad trick of the walls, its chaotic rhythm stirring up sand even as far away as the adventurers currently are.

The device in Ivo's hand pulses, physically straining toward the distant pillar. "This is it," he calls over the sound of the wind. "Any ideas?"

Formidable as the wind is, it's a natural occurrence. Individual talents might be able to surmount it, and modifying the layout of the area itself might be able to still its wrath somehow. Other than the monument, though, the area is conspicuously bare of even debris...
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart took note of the friends as well. She smiles, although its under the scarf so not easily seen, as she spots Raiya "Nice to see you again. You should drop by the bar more often, there's one in Traverse now too."

She moves along after Ivo, a few paces back. It is a rather large group after all, so no need to be packed together. Its not like it helps keeping cool or anything. She looks over to Kim "Hey, ready for another adventure?" Much of those going on recently, especially in Fluorgis. She slides a hand through her hair, airing out a bit of the sand before she gets a whole hat of it. "I still would prefer if it was somewhere else than Fluorgis for once."
Kim Possible "My name's Kim Possible, what do you expect?" Kim explains to Ivo, stopping to get a little sand out of her eyes before looking to Tifa and nodding. "I'm ready for just about anything really. I've never heard of these shards before, but I'm willing to learn. They must do something real cool, so I want to see them first hand."
Nagetta Nagetta doesn't have any way of control wind and sand so she can't really do anything about that. She nods at Ivo, Lily and Umi. There were a lot of people here, so she was feeling kind of shy. Hopefully, no one here's afraid of snakes. Still she shouldn't out too much at least. Staying balanced while moving was a bit difficult for the lamia with all the wind present. She did her best to stay curled up whenever possible.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart hmms at that, taking a moment to answer Kim "Its a bit complex. From what I understand, every world has those shards. They are just invisible. And then they get tossed around if the heartless invades it, and then they try to get those shards back as they are like keys to open the world again. Something like that. Either way, a world shard means there's a world screaming for help somewhere, and its many people here's goal to make sure the heartless don't grab them."
Terra Branford Terra blinks; she wasn't really expecting a welcome. In the Imperial Army, people were valued for their power, and Terra has not demonstrated any thus far. "Thanks," she says, in lieu of a more nuanced and socially adept reply.

Looking up at the wind-strewn sand, Terra bites her lip. Using magic against nonliving entities is more comfortable to her. Ideally, no one gets hurt, no matter how poorly she controls her power, so long as they're standing on the right side. "I can calm the winds," she says confidently, but just hearing herself say it gives her cold feet. "...maybe," she adds.
Avira "Tch, I hope you brought YOUR maid outfit." Avira snorts at Ivo's behind, knowing that the gamut of maid-related taunting is usually meant for her. Darn Baron incident. "Seems we have quite a nice showing today." The huntress looks around at the group, clearly not recognizing a few of those gathered here. Terra, in particular, is a new face though Avira doesn't really say much about that.

Seeing Raiya here brings a look of wariness to the girl. Well, she herself was no longer a mutate, but this doesn't change the fact that the samurai was keeping track of favors that Avira had no real way of repaying. Raiya's presence seemed to bother her half the time they were around each other!

With all the wind about, Avira's come prepared for the sand-blown aspect of desert travel. It isn't before long she's affixed a pair of yellow-lensed goggles to her face, which adequately protect her eyes. Even as she travels, she seems to hover around Ivo, not because she's stalking him or anything, but because she really wants to see that strange device of his. Whatever it is, it was definitely reacting to it.

"Well, we could always close our eyes and jump into it. Seemed to work for the sandstorm-shrouded city of Cleyra. That might hurt an awful lot though. Bad for exposed skin."
Maira Maira looks toward TRON, smiling warmly to him. "Glad you came! Hope you had fun at the party. You should definitely dance more," she tells him, her voice filled with encouragement before turning to smile and wave at The Denous that had made it today. They were, perhaps, the ones that had partied the least hardy? Hmm, maybe that is why Faruja isn't here either, Maira thinks, covering a giggle with her hand.

At the sound of voice she does not recognize, Maira turns amber eyes toward Terra. Her mouth opens and her eyes grow wide as tea cups. " outfit..." she tells Terra dreamily, looking like she wants to reach out to touch the silk, just to see what silk feels like.

Maira reaches up to rub her eyes a little, laughing at herself lightly for becoming so easily starstruck by a beautiful garment! There is important work to be done, and it seems a bit of magic might be just the thing!

Maira wanders forward, pulling her scarf down over her eyes. The white material is thin linen, so she can still sort of see through it without risking sand getting into her eyes. She looks up at the strange structure she can only assume was made by the winds and the sand thoughtfully. Whatever made the wind behave this way, she wonders?

"Well, I could try my magic. I could perhaps try to sort of...interrupt the flow long enough for everyone to hurry forward," she offers, though she doesn't sound her most confident. Still, she would certainly try. Those winds looked quite powerful.

Now no longer restrained by her scarf, Maira's hair goes absolutely wild in the presence of the wind, flowing in the direction of the whirlwind. She glances back toward the others to get an answer, only to get a face full of hair in which she quickly becomes lost.

She hears Terra say she could try to calm the winds as well, and while trying to get her hair out of her face, she adds, "Oh, maybe we can try it together then!"
Gabranth continued to watch in the distance. The Judge of Ambition interested, but knowing better then to just show up on the group of adventures in plain sight. These deserts may be close to Imperial Territory, but they were not theirs; Not yet at least.

The Judge Magister then taps his feet softly on the chocobo, making a soft clicking noise, before his faithful bird kwehs in return and then heads down the hill.

It would seem he would have to follow them to see what they were up too, or at least make sure no trouble found them that they got over their heads in. After all, the desert was no place you wanted to be in for long without proper resources.

Though he would have to stay out of sight for now, that was easy, even if the terrain was going to make this tricky, but he would try.
Gesandte Ges continues to move along with the group, listening to their banter of various things on this and that. when they come upon the great bowl he looks at it, and it just seems not right to him. Again he does his thing and offers a prayer, because as it looks they are going to need one heck of a prayer. He cant help but feel uneasy though, knowing things just aren't right in this manner.

Listening to the others, well he could simply punch the wind away. But feels that somehow it just wouldn't work, wind is tricky like that, it laughs and evades the fists of the gods like they where nothing. He simply just litsens and waits to decide what the rest are going to do next.
Priel Aylin "Meh-" Priel huffed, shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly at Ivo's response. It was rather boring. But then, suppose that he was 'on the job' right now. ...It was actually kind of cute. In a 'not at all cute' sort of way. The thought caused her to smirk in amusement, looking back to give the others a once over casually.

Ivo's bet does not work as planned and Priel simply responds plainly as she scoped out the others. "Something exciting doesn't always equal something worthwhile now. Ah, things would be a lot simpler if that was always the case~" With that said, her eyes went from person to person in accordance to the knight errants response to the others.

And it made her realize that she was not well acquainted with that many people here. The mention of maid outfits directed at Katyna and Avira caused her smirk to widen though. "Aha, so they're those VALKRYI girls you guys keep messing with, huh?" Priel mused, bringing a finger to the side of her cheek, giving them both looks of consideration for a moment before she simply shrugged.

Oh well.

Lily's fumble is met with a chuckle as the group continued onwards into the canyon. The others seemed competent enough. If things got too troublesome, she wouldn't feel bad about disappearing then. Eventually they come upon a rather severe land makeup. It would be impossible to get around this on foot.

"...Aha, well what do we have here?"

The redhead mumbled to no one in particular, eyeing the whirlwind with a passive interest. That monument must have been something of clear value if it had protection like /that/. ...Now she wanted to see what was within even more now.

But first, they would need to clear away that wind.

"...I wonder. Why not just have someone descend into the eye of the storm?" Priel suggested with a smirk. It was dangerous and a huge risk, but...hey! Look at all these heroic pawns lined up!
Raiya Fujihara Raiya's resolve was strengthed by having Terra accompany her and the others during this little venture out into the sands. The smiling samurai knew that Terra would be hard-pressed to use her tremendous magical ability to inflict harm on others, but only the fates know whether they will be needing her to use her healing magics this day. Regardless of whether or not there will be trouble, the company is appreciated. The samurai continues to walk slightly in front of Terra as it made it just that much easier to guard her if push comes to shove.

Lily and Ivo soon get the ronin's attention. Her smile softens as she sees Ivo interact with Lily. It was his protection of her that had attracted her attention in the first place in what seems like ages ago. Raiya tilts her head up slightly and smirks knowingly towards Ivo when she catches that he had noticed her. The smirk remains for a brief moment before disappearing as Raiya lowers her hat once more.

"I congratulate you on your success. I have...restrained my drinking as of late due to..recent events." A slightly awkward pause now. "However, a friendly drink is something that is always welcome. I will be sure to patronize the new place when I next visit Traverse." The appearance of the new obstacle and Terra's offer of a solution causes Raiya's mind to focus now. The blonde samurai now turns to her green-haired comrade. "Such an effort would be most appreciated. But, please, do not press yourself too hard." Concern is readily evident in Raiya's voice.

Maira's exuberance and willingness to assist Terra causes the Wutai woman to place an armored hand on the back of her neck. Perhaps that could work...or end terribly....but again, there was only one way to find out.

Finally, Avira gets an acknowledging wave and grin from Raiya. Sure the huntress is still in debt to her, but her assistance in their last battle together helped even things out between them.
Katyna Katyna smirks playfully at Ivo, careful not to get drawn into his charming ways as many other girls have, she's sure. "Heh, I'll show you mine if you show me yours." she grins and leaves it at that as she glances around, keeping an eye out for pretty shinies as they venture deeper into the canyon.

As others join her, Kat glances around, recognizing a few faces here and there. Of course there is VALKYRI leader Avira, and she smirks and nods at her, having already noticed her strong dislike for Ivo. "Heh, Avira. I'm sure you'll be lookin' forward to see HIM in a maid suit, hey?" Maira's here too and she grins at her, wondering if Ivo will treat her better than the other girls. She still looks chipper from the other night she notices with a little smile.

There are others here too. The cute Lily who is here without Reize for once, the Giant Gesandte from the church, and the strong girl Tifa whom she'd met once in the desert before. She nods and smiles at them all in turn. "Hey y'all, good t'see ya again! Wow, what a turnout!"

Finaly, there are less familiar faces and she nods to them as she takes 'em each in. "Hi, I'm Katyna. Nice t'meet y'all!" When they finally reach the strange monument, she pauses and frowns. "Huh. I wonder if we could blast a hole through it with wind magic..?" she glances expectedly at Maira as she says that. "Otherwise, maybe if we combine our energy and blast through it using sheer force, that might do the trick.." Actually she has no idea what she's talking about. She's not a big magic user aside from her magical sword. "But, I wonder if there are any mechanical devices around that can deactivate the monument too? "And with that she starts to peer around the area, searching for anything out of place.
TRON The cloaked figure of TRON cants his gaze down to Maira. His eyes flicker a little underneath his hood, but his reply to her is audibly amused, "I did, yes, but I cannot promise any dancing in the future."

He pauses, black leather-gloved hand tightening slightly around his staff as he studies the scene before them as his cloak whips around his form from the vaccum force of the whirlwind trying to pull them in yet back. The area before them is in turmoil, but oddly still at the same time. Even for a chaotic Userspace world, this defies logic.

His hood cants faintly, not quite sure how to approach this. "So strange..." He murmurs under his breath.

Nothing on the ground to block the wind, nothing to climb the walls (providing the wind doesn't tear you off of your handholds), and there's no guarantee that the center of the whirlwind is calm.

Offers to use magic to calm the winds gets another headcant. Magic, another Userspace occurrance unfamiliar to him. "It's perhaps the best option. Less chance of injury, less time wasted standing here." A faint cant of the head towards Priel. "However, to scout ahead may not be a bad idea either. But with the wind this strong, I doubt much headway would be made without creating a path first." Well, other than being thrown very painfully into a wall, but that's a given.
Lily "mrfrglhe--" Lily, righted, and having wnadered with everyone, removes some of her wrappings to reveal her head properly. "Phew. I hate traveling in this sandy place, it's dry, hot, and awful all at once!" But nevertheless here they stand near the monument and its protective barrier of winds.

She rather quickly brings that bunch of protective cloth back up somewhat to cover part of her head like a hood.
%T"That wind's really strong! I don't know if I could stop it directly... uh... how do you stop wind?" That IS a good question!
Ivo Galvan Ivo seems preoccupied by the odd shape of the cliffs around them, for whatever reason, so when Terra speaks up he quickly glances toward her. The curiosity in his gaze subtly subdues as he perceives her confidence faltering, and the young man responds with a reassuring smile. "Please try," he says. He's unaware of the extent of Terra's abilities, and willing to take her at her word, but putting pressure on someone of her temperament doesn't seem wise. "As long as we can get past the winds..."

He trails off into silence, deadpanning as he becomes aware of just how close Avira is to him, clearly looking in at the device in his hand, and slowly his gaze shifts to her. "On second thought," he continues, "I really want to see Avira close her eyes and jump into the whirlwind. I think that's a great plan. Go for it, Avira." He manages to maintain a straight face for a few seconds more before he starts, well, smirking. "Not like anyone wants to see your exposed skin anyway!" he adds merrily, delighted at his own cleverness.

"Maira, why don't you team up with--" He pauses, waiting while the fire mage struggles to extract her face from her hair. It's buried somewhere in there-- oh, there she is. "--with Terra? Is it possible to coordinate your magics?"

Katyna's careful searching reveals nothing. Perhaps Ivo had the same idea while he was looking at the cliff walls. But the sand before them is white and bare, free of all the rocks and debris that had populated the canyons they passed through. One might surmise that the winds, spurred by the shape of this place, were here first, and the monument was built deliberately within them. There may be no simple solution.

"If Reize were here," Ivo asides to Priel, "we could probably throw him over the top." He's a little guy, after all.
Deelel Deelel listens to the talk of a treasure map? he listens onwards. They could have quite the mess ahead depending on how things go, right? She sees that Ivo is in good spirits from his smile though she's a bit uncomfortable. Not from him but the sand, oh she's got sand eveyrwhere. Even truying to keep it out. Nagetta gets a bi9t of a look it's been some time since the program has seen a Lamia of any sort. Now Tron gets looked at by Deelel and she realises she should have got a cloak. User space is far to chaotic and she should know better. She'll keep that in mind for the next time. "I'd take my bike but I don't think the light cycle would fair to well on this terrain!" She notes to the older program.
Emi Dennou Electricity powers don't mean that the Dennous have storm powers and as such they can't do much about the winds--at least not that easily. Terra mentions she may be able to do something about it, and their eyes widen faintly.5r
"Aw, we can't just charge in, The Network wonders."

"You mean you wonder," Shida says. "I don't think that'd be very safe."

Shida sliiiides towards Lily, that big ol' smile coming up again. This is totally not the proper time but she doesn't care. :D :D :D.
"We'll just have to wait for that girl to do her mojo." Umi says before looking towards Terra. "Hey!" She tells her.


"The Network...likes your hair!" WAIT THEY HAVE GREEN HAIR TOO THOSE SCAMPS.
Avira "Only if he actually shaves his legs this time, Kat." Avira smirks right back at her, lifting her head for a second. Then it's back to the device.

Then Ivo is very Ivo at her. Her anger visibly flares up fro a moment before she shakes it off, giving Ivo a flat look. "First of all, I've got these-" she points at her goggles, "So I don't need to close my eyes. Second of all-"

Avira abruptly elbows him in the ribs for that comment about her skin.

She shakes her head afterwards. "Seriously though, don't jump into the sandstorm." Words of wisdom, brought to you by Avira.
Nagetta "Do you want me to try and jump over the wind?" Nagetta finally speaks up. She figures if anyone can do it, she can. There's not much she can think of doing to help. It's not like she can and try charm it. She looks back at Deelel not being really familiar with programs herself. She wonder where she came from, it's unlikely to be anywhere she knows of.
Priel Aylin "Booo. No one's going to sacrifice themselves for the greater good then? Oh well~" Priel shrugged at the general response from the group and took a step aside, crossing her arms and watching as an alternative and likely less crazy plan was deliberated on.

Well, the use of magic did sound like a better idea of course. It was long distance and no one would get hurt in the attempt. Or at least, the risk factor was greatly reduced. Hmn, that was boring though! She glanced at Ivo, shaking her head. "Oh yes. If that idiot were here, we COULD have just tossed him in and let his dumb luck go to work." The sad thing is; that was probably true. "Too bad he isn't. Probably caught up with the rest of his harem I bet!" Also another likely accurate statement. Stop picking up girls Reize! We can't keep them all fed for you!
Terra Branford "Oh!" Terra looks down at her own embossed silken sleeves, as if seeing them for the first time. Maira seems to enjoy the ensemble, parts of which are such thin, light silk that they float in the breeze as if underwater, rippling gently. Her slippers, long and pointed, leave rather distinctive footprints in the sand as they go. "I'm glad you like it. It's from..." Terra freezes up. "I don't remember, I guess I've had it a very long time." So often she reaches for a memory that isn't where she left it.

And Emi likes her hair, too. That's just too much at once, Terra finally blushes. "I... well, thank you, The Network," she replies, in a mild daze, her mint green ponytail bobbing with a faint bow. Magic... isn't she supposed to be doing magic?

"All right, together, then," she agrees with Maira, and steps forward. "I will be careful, Raiya." Closing her eyes, Terra holds both arms out wide, horizontally, and fills her lungs, letting her head drop back, feeling the currents not only of the air, but of the magic within her. They must be as one, or all she will do is create chaos. Slowly, she sweeps her hands forward, rotating one arm as she goes, until with one palm facing the other, one to the ground and one to the sky, she focuses her energy. A skittering tongue of wind draws a curved line near her feet through the sand, and is joined by another and another, until it is clear that these are not individual flurries of air, but rather a sphere of wind that is forming around the girl's frail frame.

Terra glances back once, to assure herself of everyone's location, and pauses particularly on Maira, for coordination, on Ivo, for confirmation, and Raiya, for courage. Then her head turns forward again, and, with the gentle grace of a ballerina going en pointe, the wind lifts Terra to her toes, then just barely off them. Her palms tremble with the effort of controlling the shape of the currents. She's losing it, it's getting messier as it gets stronger. She has to let it go before it becomes destructive, but not too early, lest it be too weak. Beads of sweat are drawn directly from her brow and cheeks and atomized into mist by the winds. She can't spare any effort to worrying about how Maira is doing.

"0Be still."

She lets go. Her arms snap out to her sides as if suddenly nailed to a wall, and a churning gout of sand is driven before her. Wind stifles wind, breeze churns breeze; it's like a great elemental melee. Jaw twisting with effort, Terra starts to draw her fingers into a fist. Slowly, gust is swallowing gust. Slowly, the sand slumps into sleeping dunes. Is it enough?
Gesandte The Giant continues to stand there looking and listening to their ideas. He steps up forward towards Ivo, "I can perhaps throw someone to some spot if it could help. Though I don't see how it would stop the wind, but perhaps give someone a better view to see something we cannot see?" yes, he's fine with throwing someone through the air like a rocket, though they probably might not enjoy it very much.

He looks over watching the magical people use their magicalness to do magical things. Yeah, far beyond him he's not magical just a conduit for holy diety powers himself.
Katyna Katyna glances curiously at Terra...It's the hair, isn't it? Mages always have weird colored hair. "Heh, go for...." And suddenly Terra starts to call upon her reserves of magic. Katyna watches quietly, almost enviously at her considerable command over the elements.


She hasn't seen that level of power since watching Maira, although Maira's magic seemed to be mostly fire-based. Kat's curious to see what both their magic can do when combined.

"Who IS she, anyway?" Kat murmurs in general to any who might answer. Glancing back at Gesandte and Nagetta as they offer suggestions, she smiles and nods. "Sounds like good ideas. But maybe we should see if this works first. Good idea to save your energy, right?"

She cant help but chuckle at Avira's comment about Ivo, arching a brow at her curiously, "This time? Y'mean, he's dressed up like a girl before..?" Wow, this guy's nuts! Why's Maira' in love with him again?! "Heh, you kiddin? And get torn apart? That'd be a bad idea..If Nagetta can leap really high though...Maybe...."

She smirks a bit at Priel and her sarcasm. "Heh, I dunno if I'd say Reize has that kinda luck..He's always getting lost. But he sure is popular with the girls! I wonder why..?" Still Kat makes a face at the word 'harem'..
TRON TRON shakes his cloaked head to Deelel. "Indeed not!" He jabs his staff into the ground in front of him to help fight against the pull of the sand-filled cyclone. That wind is really getting aggrivating, though he takes Avira's word for it about the effects of jumping into a sandstorm. "You'd never find traction in this terrain, Deelel, not to mention I'm not sure what effect sand would have on its components as it rezzes."

Not to mention what would happen if the wind picks it up and throws it around. The fragile Light Cycle would derezz on impact if it hits the wall, and then there would be crystalline voxels added to the sandstorm. Not good, not for anyone.

He watches Terra initiate her magic and stands by, cloaked form sinking slightly as his body tenses in a ready-to-run crouch. The instant the winds calm enough to even be somewhat safe, he'll try to go through.
Maira Maira nods to Terra, pleased to see another mage, and one with such nice fashion sense! Though, she is a little...intimidating...but Maira is sure she can't really help being so pretty and graceful...

Maira moves forward to stand beside Terra, looking to her and opening her senses to the auras of magic the other begins to manipulate in order to gauge her plan of action. After a moment, she nods gently in understanding and closes her eyes as she summons her magic to the surface--and even in the desert heat, Maira's skin begins to steam as she begins to glow like an ember.

Terra is leading, and so Maira follows. She doesn't have much in the way of experience working with other mages, but the young woman does have a prodigious talent for magic and seems to follow along, her brow furrowing in concentration and efforts as she adds her will to Terra, positioning herself to mirror her as she too tries to calm the winds with the force of her own magic.
Lily An elemental imelee indeed. Lily takes a step forward to watch more closely, and.. is the jewel on her forehead gleaming just slightly, or is that a trick of the light?

But she is watching the duet of mystical power. "Ah, right. The wind likes to play... I hadn't thought of diverting it or beating it around..."
Raiya Fujihara Raiya purses her lips together contemplatively as she observes the interaction between Avira and Ivo. What is really going in her mind remains unclear as she chooses not to grace anyone with any actual words. The ever stoic samurai merely observes the playful behavior before slowly tilting her head back towards Terra who was busy preparing some sort of magic. The sheathed katana sways slightly as she shifts her weight to get a better look on what Terra is actually doing. The use of magic is entirely lost to the swordswoman as she lacks the gift to use any of it herself without using the assistance of Materia. The samurai slowly dips her head in encouragement when Terra looks back her way while she prepares her magic.

Muscles tense as she observes Terra's struggle with that powerful gift of hers. But thankfully, Maira soon joins her magic with Terra's. The magic impaired wanderer can only uselessly look on and hope that the fates will be kind to her friends and their attempts to remove this most bothersome obstacle from their shared path.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart grins a bit to Raiya's answer "No worries, we serve more than alcohol you know, you can come for sea salt ice cream too." She sighs a bit "ice cream sounds so good right now."

She watches how the spellcasters are handling the whirlwind, in interest. She's not a magic user herselt. Well, she has a few materias, but clearly not every world needs those to cast spells, so she can't help but admire the work when people do. She wishes she could support the two, but she can't do much.

"I wonder what's on the other side though, to me it seems like someone or something wants to keep us out."
Kim Possible "That's cool," Kim comments with a slight smirk at how the spellcasters are handling the whirlwind. "Wish I could do that, but I've got my own devices, so I'll be cool on my own." She then looks to Tifa and nods. "Usually, that's what a carefully placed barrier or trap usually means. In all the missions I've been on, it's always that. Totally not cool."
Emi Dennou "Wow that's pretty cool!, The Network is impressed!" They couldn't really do this sort of nonsense themselves and Umi is always up for being encouraging, to the point of it actually perhaps being closer to a fault. The two walk along, Shida is still smiling broadly at Lily. She then, after a few moments, reaches out and taps her lightly on the left shoulder.

Beaming broadly still. They seem to have confidence in Terra despite knowing nothing about her except her hair color. BUT THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING.
Ivo Galvan Ivo was definitely going to offer Avira some witty retort before she elbowed and knocked the wind out of him, so as it is he spends the next several seconds attempting to recover his breath along with the shattered fragments of his dignity. "V... Violent brute..." He rights himself, eyes watering a little, and looks around for a little sympathy. His gaze falls on Raiya-- no, not likely. His gaze shifts to Priel-- aaaand moves right past her. And there is Maira. He brightens visibly, and by all appearances ignoring the fact that he's supposed to be solving this puzzle, strolls over to the young woman in red. "Maira, I need your tender ministrations," he says nonchalantly, as though this were something he says every day. "Only your loving care can salve the grievous wound that Avira... has... dealt..."

The breeze swirling about Terra ruffles his dark hair and the collar of his shirt before it draws his eye, and renders him speechless. Her graceful posture and visible effort form an arresting spectacle of a power beyond Ivo's comprehension, which as such he encounters on a purely aesthetic level, as a living work of art calling upon the forces of nature itself. His lips part, and all semblance of his lightly joking exterior fades, leaving nothing but a look of honest wonder in his eyes.

Terra's struggle against the vast force arrayed before her might threaten to overwhelm her, but with the added power that Maira offers, the half-esper's abilities are up to the task: the wind is tamed. A silence as deafening as the tempest is left in the wake of the display, and nothing lies before them but still sand and the monument itself. But as the wind is a natural result of the shape of the area, Terra will have to continue to control it, and maintain the careful equilibrium that now holds.

Reluctantly tearing his gaze from the green-haired woman, Ivo slowly looks toward Gesandte. "I'd've liked to see that," he says to the big man, "but it looks like... we managed it somehow." A lopsided smile, still tinged with his earlier awe, grows, and he glances at Lily, seeing that the gem-studded girl has been watching carefully. Ivo's eyebrow raises slightly. "Could you see what she was doing, Lily?" There's something oddly wistful about his smile for a moment. "I wonder what it would be like to see what you see..."

He steps toward the distant pillar, past Priel and Katyna. "Careful, you two," he adds, a trace of humor returning to his voice. "Before you know it, you'll end up in the harem too." And here he warned Reize about harems. It's hard being a man of wisdom. He advances alongside TRON, offering the Program -- he knows them on sight now, thanks to Deelel -- a nod and a smile. Ivo doesn't know this one, except that he seems to be an ally of VALKYRI, but he seems highly competent. "Don't put away your devices just yet," he says to Kim, still sounding amused. "Who knows what we'll find?"

Those who advance to the monument will be able to see at last what is embedded in the pillar. Is it a World Shard? Is it some sort of other treasure? Some legendary magical artifact to save a city in its time of need? It's...

"A fossil?"

Ivo stares blankly up at what appears to be a large fossilized feather, the chunk of stone which contains it itself affixed to the pillar, clearly originally a separate piece. He furrows his brow-- and then, with a look of alarm, glances down at the device in his hand. The Shard Seeker device... is listlessly turning in circles, no longer pointing fiercely at the monument. "Er... well, this means... that, ah..." Ivo looks up at the feather fossil, then back down at his device, and squints slightly. "This means..."

He's silent for a moment.

"...well, anyway, I think we should extract it."

As if on cue, however, a rumbling begins to shake the sands and cliffs, rocks and shale tumbling down, the pillar wobbling dangerously. In the distance, a plume of dust can be seen arising from the canyons from which they emerged. Yet it's traveling at a breakneck pace, blasting its way through, far too swift to be a sandworm. An oppressive sensation grows as the dust approaches. There's something strange about all this, though.

"I don't know what that is," Ivo shouts, "but why--"

The sand beneath them is swirling.

"--is the shaking coming from /beneath/ us--"

From the mouth of the canyon, a great rolling pin of a Heartless tears onto the scene, churning through the sand: purple and black with shocking yellow zig-zags, multiple heads with beady yellow eyes peering from where studs would be on its rims, the Reaper's Wheel rolls its way heedlessly toward the adventurers, sand spraying up everywhere as it goes. That oppressive feeling, like a smothering shroud over the heart, grows further. And as the Heartless approaches--

Roaring, two gargantuan Sandworms burst from the sand beneath, the tremors their doing, and begin to thrash about, sand spraying everywhere. Chaos ensues all at once, the Heartless weaves its way through the obviously agitated monsters which tower above everyone.

"That Heartless," Ivo calls, shielding his eyes from the sand spraying everywhere. "Is it the reason why the Sandworms have been so active recently?" He grits his teeth, turning toward the fossil. "Regardless, we've come this far... we need to get this, and get out of here...!"
Katyna Katyna bites her lip, glancing over at Tifa and Kim curiously, "Huh, a trap? To keep something in maybe?" she makes a face, "Obviously if they wanna keep us out, it's because there's some juicy treasure they dont want anyone to take...But I dont care, I want that treasure!" She says a bit impatiently.

For now however, Katyna just steps back and watches the spectacle in silent awe, and a little envy, wishing she could command such awesome powers herself. Ivo as always, offers adequate entertainment in the meantime, especially when he gets punched and stumbles to the ground in a rather undignified manner. Kat cant help but giggle, but she doesn't bother to help him up, this is too much fun!

when Ivo tells HER to be careful, she just laughs, "Ooh, that's funny, coming from you! With your *ahem* charm, I wouldn't be surprised if you were lookin' to start a harem of your own..Just..Dont hurt Maira or anytyhing, 'k?" well she wont go as far as to threaten him..Yet, but Kat was growing rather fond of Maira. "But now that i've taught Reize about mistletoe, I guess he'll have his..Err..Hands full.."

Briefly, Kat's gaze flashes towards Lily and that strange jewel of hers. "Hmm? What's that?" But the spectacle of magic before her is enough to distract her away from Lily's jewel..For now. She peers towards the sandstorm, noticing that it is slowly weakenning..And suddenly she sees a pillar and impatiently, Kat rushes towards it, expecting to see pretty gemstones or treasure..Instead, she just sees a fossilized feather. "The heck? All that for a hunk of rock? Please tell me there's more to it than..."

And then Ivo's device starts going in circles and Kat frowns. Then the earch shakes and her frown deepens. "What the!!" Suddenly giant sandworms burst from the ground, and she stumbles back, eyes narrowed as she draws her sword. "Darnit, we gotta get 'em before they get the treasure!"

Umm, soon as she figures out how to move that fozzilized feather thing from the pillar..She peers at it intently..
Gabranth had gotten off his Chocobo somewhere in the caverns. He walked carefully behind where the adventures had run off too and could hear their voices ahead. The Judge magister's steps were calm and collective. The dark armor never changing even as the sand tries to find its way into what few cracks the armor provides that meet leather.

The swords could be the only thing that give him away as they clack gently against his armor from their metal hilts that hang off his belt.

However when the tremors starts Gabranth's eyes narrow and become amber in color. Could this be the cause of what so many talked about from the caravans that came into town? Angered giant worms?

The Judge Magister stands back as suddenly a heartless appears, his eyes narrow sharply, before his walk turns into a jog, and into a run. Now people may hear him coming for a fact and his swords are drawn from his sheath as he calls out.

The British tone echoing within the helm. "Spred out! Do not cluster together and keep on your toes!"

It would seem Gabranth was here to help... For now.
Nagetta "Harem?" Nagetta scratches her head not familiar with that term. "Is this one of those human things?" She sounds rather confused that. Before she can get a response to her question the two sandworms burst out of them ground, along with a strange heartless. It looked like it was in the way of their goal. She approaches the monster and stares at intently, trying to distract it so the others can past. She tries to entangle it as well while it's in her gaze.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart doesn't like shaking ground! It never bodes anything good. Most of the time, its a giant monster about to pop out and try to eat everyone.

Which apparently is not quite the case this time, as she dives for cover as the Reaper's Wheel tries to run her over. All she has time to do is grab Kim before diving. Well, maybe the girl could have avoided on her own, but why chance it when she managed to see it first?

She rolls off the sand back back up on one knee, letting Kim get up on her own as she visibly wasn't hurt in the first charge. "Ready for this then?"

She glances back toward the sandworms for a moment "... Looks like they are cutting our way out, so we'll have to cut our way through." She tightens her gloves a bit "Or in my case, punch through it instead!"

She pushes herself up and forward, using her speed to get in range of the weird rolling pin of a monster, attempting to strike it from the side where there could be a weak point, at the axis.
Avira More faint grumbling is heard from Avira and the short woman deprts Ivo's immediate viccinity now! There was no way she's get good behavior out of him now, now that there was a pretty girl and a a large reward waiting. Other than that, she's really curios about those that volunteer to stop the wind.

It seems to be working?

In return, they disccover a fossil. Avira's actually far more excited about this discovery than she lets on at first. "I think it means your device doesn't work." Avira politely notes before she senses...movement. Beneath them. Right away, Avira is swooping to the side as the massive Reaper's Wheel rolls in and nearly flattens everyone with its appearance.

As she rises, Avira draws her weapon. "I'll help keep this whole mess at bay." she declares, undaunted by the triple trouble of SANDWORMS and Heartless. Undaunted until...

Wait, is that a Judge Magister coming to help them? Avira turns and stares at Gabranth in disbelief. "...what." Not due to his advice, mind, but due to his presence to begin with.
Priel Aylin Seeing Avira elbow Ivo in the gut caused Priel to bring a hand to her mouth, stifling a laugh at his expense. Nope. Not worried about him at all. His desperate attempts to draw pity out from Maira are soon ignored with a roll of the eyes. Ah, never a dull moment here, huh?

Terra's display of magic power elicits a whistle of appreciation from her after. Well, she had help, but still it was pretty impressive all the same. "Well, looks like that's all taken care of. I still say it would have been a lot more interesting if someone jumped in now. Oh well~" She chuckled at the mere thought and sighed after, turning her attention off towards the pillar in the distance, not looking at Ivo as he passed.

"Oh? A part of /his/ harem? Hah!" Well, it WAS funny. Priel rolled her eyes again as she set forth, following after at a casual pace. "If anything, I'd say you're already in his harem now~" Yes, she just implied that. With a wide smile all the same. Upon reaching the monument, Priel was rather disappointed to see that there was no jewel, gem, or some other sort of shiny stone. It was just...

...A fossil.

"Booooo!" The redhead called up to the monument as if this was some sort of performance that sucked. Hey, maybe it was! But there was no more time to boo as the ground began to shift. "...Hah?"

Oh boy! Danger! Priel's favorite thing!

The heartless and sandworms were not a welcome sight, but alas, they were not the worst thing she's ever been faced with, so... Suppose she could stick around for now. Maybe it would be worth seeing out to the end.

With everyone else leaping into the fray already, Priel instead leapt back out of the way, allowing the others room to attack while she merely stood by and watched for some manner of opening...

Either that or she was just being lazy and letting the others do the work.

...Yeah, that was more likely.
Gesandte Ges moves with the group along the way to the other side to the fossily thing they where going for, when all hell breaks loose, oh that's not a good thing not at all. He turns around to see the worms and the giant heartless erupting from the ground with the sand in all, shielding his face with his large hand from most of the sand. He knew it, he knew bad stuff was going to happen and here it was.

He hunches down and growls as he readies his power to obliterate yet another heartless. Always with the heartless causing problems, they just can't leave people to live in peace and enjoy life as it should be. Well, large open area, monster on the ground, he grins. He charges the enemy and jumps into the air, "Thou shalt not block our path out of here!" and lands near the monster with a hard shaking of the ground thundering, and seconds later he launches his fist attack into the heartless demon monster.
TRON TRON's hood blows back as the wind calms and expels a stiff breeze back at him, thus exposing his head and neck. Not that it really matters at this stage. The cloak obscures most of his black Program unisuit, but the hands, neck, and feet covered in the same leatherlike material is indication enough.

He offers a returned nod to Ivo as the User approaches and moves to walk next to him. He no longer uses his staff as a walking stick, now holding it loosely in both hands as if ready for combat. He makes no judgement, only tilting his head in puzzlement at the embedded feather fossil, but then rumbling and shaking happens. He jerks his head around as he crouches, pinning his gaze on the fast-approaching plume of dust.

He knows this feeling, like a someone has reached into you and is squeezing your very core. He's felt it before in his homeworld, even before he understood the cause. "Heartless..."

And he's proven correct in spades, with sandworms adding their own agitation to the already-bad situation. "Get it free! We'll keep it busy!" He calls to Ivo, tucking a hand under the collar of his cloak and pulling free his silver Disc--but only his silver Disc.

A man in silver armor runs in to join the fight, weapons brandished, and he nods in affirmation to the advice. He does not know who or what he is, but he won't turn away assistance. Avira, however, seems less enthusiastic. "Deelel, split up! Pincer it between us!"

He moves to the left, throwing his Disc at the Heartless even as he charges into melee range. He spins with his staff, trying to strike it upwards for even a moment of putting it off-balance before reversing direction to strike it back down.
Kim Possible As soon as Kim is caught by Tifa, she braces herself for the impact, so that once she hits the ground, she can roll away a little before getting back into a crouched position, then leaping into her fighting stance, looking very similar to that of the martial arts style known to many as Kung-Fu. "Thanks for the help, Tifa," Kim says with a smile, before turning to face the strange Heartless that Tifa will end up going after, and an evil grin forms on her face.

"So this is the sitch, huh? Not a problem!" She adjusts her gloves briefly before taking a rushing dash towards the Heartless. After getting close enough, Kim attempts to deliver a swiftly timed kick.
Deelel Deelel says "Likely get everywhere it shouldn't. Likely not work at best or fatal error at worst." She'll keep the bike off line. It would just be too much problems. The wind, the sand would just end up wrecking the craft. "I'm not even sure a grid tank could take this sort of condtions." She notes while she keeps it in mind to make notes later if she ever gets back to the grid. Well when they need to look into develping craft that could handle the insanities of the outside world.

Ivo seems to be doing a good enough job of trakcing something she's not sure if it's a shard or not but they will not get anywhere if they do not look right? But it seems they have found soemthing, they really seem to have found something but just what is it?

"Wait it's coming form under us..."

WHAM There is a heartless. A really big one that's basically a huge wheel?

"I should stop being suprised by the heartless I really should. I'll help contain this thing."

She's got her own disk out and she nods to Tron, a pincer that could work she'll throw her disk as she tries to find purchase on the sands and start hauling bitmap.
Terra Branford The silence the wind leaves in its wake is soft, placid. There's no real hint that everything about the currents, the shape of the canyon, and the ground itself antagonizes the air. This is the peace of the lyre: force pulling in the right directions all at once.

Terra floats for a few more seconds, suspended, her cape and sash floating weightless behind her in great translucent trails, more smoke than cloth. Then, gently, as if a cushion was deflating beneath her, Terra sinks, until she can roll down the ball of her foot and come to rest on the earth for which she was named. Exhaling, she looks back, pale face paler with strain. "I will have to focus on controlling this; if I let up, it will come back right under our feet."

Following along with her hands held delicately out to her sides, like a gymnast walking the balance beam, Terra keeps the wind behaving. "Your friends are very kind," she tells Raiya quietly. She'd be able to enjoy feeling welcomed more if she wasn't worried about constantly exerting force.

When the ground erupts, Terra releases her hold on the air for just an instant. The resulting wind is nothing worrisome to behold--it's barely noticeable in the face of the ground ripping apart--but Terra has to seize hold again quickly lest it build. She blanches, realizing her straits.

"Maira!" she shouts to her mystical comrade, lest the fiery girl try to assist her. "I'm all right... they need your strength!" The strength of a woman who can use magic with accuracy and certainty, without endangering others. Letting a little whinny of concern out under her breath, Terra dances away from the slithering tail of the largest Heartless.

"Raiya," she breathes. "Raiya, if I'm interrupted..."
Lily There it is. The moment of triumph is cut short, as it so often is, by something big, mean, and wanting to murder everyone.

Lily makes a grouchy sound deep in her throat the MOMENT the Heartless bursts into view, for she knows its aura. That darkness is a pervasive, ever-pestering nightmare and she's SICK of it.

She has nothing but HATE for those creatures, whatever they are.

"Not ANOTHER ONE. What's it doing out HERE?!"

A tiny flicker of flame whips up around Lily, then quickly sparks and ignites into a roaring aura. Cerulean light shimmers up just underneath it, forming a dominion of mystical power that simply shines with elemental fury-- particularly wind and fire. The power spreads out through the area... Ivo and, perhaps by chance, Tron, will feel it.

A fierce and blazing might filling them, stoked by an inner tempest that strengthens their bodies - such as that is, in TRON's case.
Raiya Fujihara Raiya Fujihara looks at Ivo and crosses her arms against herself in the often used gesture favored by stern disciplinarians. Did the samurai see something that she did not approve of? The cold, impassive look on the samurai-sensei's face does not yield many clues. Green eyes shut briefly and a slight grimace is displayed before Raiya forces herself to look elsewhere now.

She does not have to look far as Terra and Maira are both still nearby. There were other more pressing matters to consider than any selfish ones. Arms quickly uncross as Raiya paces over towards Terra's side. A small, but natural grin forms on her face. "Well done, but are you alright?" The ronin asks simply of her.

Tifa gets a sheepish smile from the samurai. "Oh, of course. I guess my mind is still a little one-tracked when it comes to such matters." Any further smalltalk is interrupted as things quickly begin to escalate with the apprearance of a Heartless, Sandworms, and....a Judge Magister? But in all honesty, she has had stranger allies. With a deft move of her hand, a katana is drawn and held proudly above her head. "A Heartless," says Raiya menacingly through gritted teeth as she steels herself for her next action. There was a special place in Raiya's heart for hating Heartless. She was going to enjoy tearing this thing apart.

Thoughts of violence and revenge are interrupted by Terra's meek voice. Raiya turns to look over her shoulder and nods firmly. "Worry yourself not, I shall use my blade to defend you from any creature that approaches be it Heartless or monster." Poor Terra has been dragged into enough trouble because of Raiya. She was not going to let Terra get hurt this day if the samurai and her deadly blade had any say in the matter.
Maira It is likely fortunate that Maira is too busy to notice any awkward, veiled flirtations between Avira and Ivo. It might just cripple her.

It is probably also good that she is far too busy to deliver any tender ministrations to Ivo, as hilarious as that might have been.

It is taking all of her concentration to keep this going and the strain shows on her face and posture. Her energy is not limitless, and air is not her strongest magic--while she is focusing on it, the restraint on her fire grows slack and finally gives out. The young mage ignites, fire sparking and crawling over her skin, not harmful to her, but certainly would be to any who touched her.

She gasps when the sandworms and the Heartless appear, her concentration faultering. Her eyes are quickly drawn to Terra, and while she is certainly impressed with her power, she is unsure about letting her maintain this alone. Maira bites her bottom lip hard, looking out toward the others. "I wonder...if maybe I can sort of..tie it off..." she ponders, then closes her eyes to regain her focus. She can't think about being gobbled up by sandworms right now. Maira has to focus on extricating her magic gently, pulling back in such a way that it would leave some of her energy with the spell to help keep Terra afloat in the sea of elemental fury.

Her eyes snap open as she cuts the tie, stepping back and stumbling in the sand, her head spinning. She's out, but Terra should feel some of her energy still swirling in the winds with the spell. Hopefully, it is enough.
Ivo Galvan The Reaper's Wheel is on a rampage, and the roaring Sandworms do not like it one bit. As the Heartless weaves its way between the enraged monsters like a street racer on a joyride, sand flies everywhere and the whole clearing seems for a moment like it's going to collapse in on itself, the cliffs themselves trembling. The presence of the Heartless does not bode well for anyone -- especially those who get in its path.

Those it moves swiftly, it does not seem to make any particular effort to /avoid/ the attacks launched at it, but no effort to constrain it can succeed. If anything, its defense seems to be its offense: it bulls right through anyone who dares to approach it at a breakneck pace. Nagetta attempts to entangle it as she works her magic, but she can't contain it, and unless she allows it to tear free she may find herself dragged along and churned into the sand herself. Tifa lunges in toward the side and strikes, punching in one of the eerie little faces along the rim, its yellow eyes dimming, but unless she kicks away she too will be drawn into its momentum. Gesandte bravely stands in its path, and his fierce strike hits home as he lands with a thunderous tremor -- just what we need, more tremors -- but the Reaper's Wheel bores right on, attempting to just roll right over him, big as he is.

TRON is able to halt the Wheel's advance for a moment, his precise staff strike impacting along with his Disc -- Deelel's own Disc striking simultaneously -- to launch it into the air, where its Wheel turns helplessly, only able to move with its own inertia. As it attacks by running people over, apparently, it does not seem to be very effective in the air. But its heavy weight soon bears it back down, the Program's follow-up attack ensuring that it hits the sand with a heavy thud. Kim's kick hits just at that moment, but it looks as though only more powerful attacks can halt the weighty foe, and if she's not careful, she too will be run over as it turns, drifting across the sand, and charges toward TRON and Deelel vengefully.

As the Heartless grows more agitated and tears across the sand, the Sandworms grow all the more enraged, and their horrible bellows threaten to stun and shake the concentrate of even those not directly involved in the melee. Can anything be done to calm them down or shut them up? Or must the Heartless simply be dispatched as swiftly as possible?

Ivo, sweat beading at his brow from the pressure, is staring up at the fossil intently, mind churning as he speculates how best to extract it. Just then, Lily's magical blessing descends upon him, and his spirit lightens even as his concentration hones to a fine point. "Thanks, Lily," he says, shooting the girl a smile, the stress -- no doubt exacerbated by the presence of the Heartless and its overbearing aura -- lifted from him. "I'm going to focus on getting this fossil out safely. Stay safe, and call if you need me, okay?" Recovering himself, he withdraws some tools from his cloak, tinkerer's implements, with which he maintains the Shard Seeker device. ...yeah, maybe he should do some more of that, too...

Shida says, "Lily I was wondering--" but as she is about to finally actually speak to Lily for once, MORE TROUBLE HAPPENS. Gosh darn it, it's so hard to get ahold of Lily and she only ever gets to see Lily when there's trouble! Shida frowns and crosses her arms, tapping her foot rapidly against the ground. Naturally, they don't immediately end up charging the Heartless as a result, even Umi is slow enough that she actually focuses on Shida for a few moments.

Eventually Shida sighs a little, lowering her head. Maybe, she thinks, maybe trying to--she shouldn't?

Raising a hand up, she sends a pair of short electrobolts for the Heartless even as Umi...

...draws out an assault rifle and fires wildly. She screams, "SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIENDS, THE NETWORK USES A METAPHOR!"
The Judge Magister stares at the three different opponents he has to worry about. The two angered worms and the heartless causing all the trouble. The Judge then goes into move, he parries away one of the strikes, but sadly gets caught in the next and is slammed harm into the wall.

The Judge Magister however gets right back up and those amber eyes stare out as the darkness gathers around him for a moment as he stares right at the heartless. "Bad move." He rumbles down lowly before he spins his two swords for a moment.

Gabranth then charges toward the Heartless, leaping up before bring down the highway star, before spinning around and slashing it again with the short sword, before moving around and striking it with a hard cleave from the Chaos Blade.

The Judge Magister though doesn't stand still in his dance, he does give those annoying worms a long glare. They were creating trouble and he hopes that someone has a spell that can quiet them up soon enough.
Avira "Of course!" Avira calls out to TRON, recognizing sound advice when she hears it. Sure, Gabranth was right too, and based on the woman's movement, she's definitely putting herself far enough away to make it an inconvenience to roll over her. It seems to work, though the distraction of the sandworms does her no favor. Nevertheless, a quick study of the heartless draws her to an interesting conclusion:

"Aim for it's hubcaps! Those seem the most vulnerable!" Wait, what? Yes. Avira waits until it gets near enough to target her before dodging at a nintey degree angle, then bouncing back to counter, smashing the spine upwards against the end-caps of the Reaper Wheel.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart's punches do seem to strike into it, although its rather a tough heartless... its rather sturdy, not like most of the heartless she beat up before. But those little faces are rather eerie... and before she can pull back, she doesn't realize that the momentum of that thing is pulling her in like a gravity well. She lets out a loud "ack!!" as the heartless pulls her under her wheels, and as if stuck to it, she gets tossed into the air by the revolving force of the wheels. She lands rather harshly into a sandpile, grunting a bit as the blow was taken mostly on her back. That smarts alright.

She sputters a bit of the sand that got kicked up too, sliding the windscarf back over her mouth and nose protectively "Well that wasn't... a nice entrance." She shakes her head. Change of plan. She needs to take a breather after this. She does have a few materias with her for the need after all. Let's try to pump up the fighting ability first.
Gesandte The Giant stands there attempting to stop the rolling machine but is well ran over in the sense as it hits him. He slides under it into the sound but comes out the backside bruised and scratched but nontheless not hurt that much. He gets back up and spinds around to look towards the beast, a grin forming on his lips

"You will fall before our might. We will rue the day you upset the worms of this land."
He brings his fists up and prepares them, the air wiggling around them as he powers them up and growls as he quick punches at the heartless, his sonic blasts shooting forth towards the enemy to knock it up some more and end this battle. That or mess up the heartless enough for the others to finish it, long as the job gets done that's all he cares about.
TRON TRON doesn't understand magic. But he can't deny the effect of it, thanks to Lily's buffs. The wind gives speed to his movements, the fire gives power to his strikes. His eyes flare in bluish-white light as a few visible lines on his fingers and at the base of his throat flare to life. It eases the heavy feeling draped around his core, if nothing else.

His attacks seem to stop its momentum briefly, only briefly, but it gives him enough time to catch his Disc as it returns to him. He uses his staff to help leap to the side, bouncing off of the stone wall and flipping over the Heartless as it charges past below him. He lands on the ground, the sand softening the impact, and moves to cut it off while doing his best to avoid the agitated sandworms.

He hears Avira's advice, eyes narrowing as the data is processed, then he decides why not. He throws his Disc, arcing it low so it would get under the Heartless and lift it into the air on the return. He then shifts his weight and aims right towards one of the hubcaps, lunging with his staff held like a spear. The returning Disc strikes the hubcap as well on its way back.
Kim Possible Kim isn't fazed by the strange Heartless in the least bit. In fact, it can try to hit her all it wants, but Kim is going to show one of the perks of being a cheerleader. Her acrobatic skills come out in spades as she twists and dodges the attacks of the Heartless, before landing on the ground and skidding backwards slightly. "Now that was a totally cool warm-up," She says while she wipes her brow, partially in a mocking manner. "But I'm just barely breaking a sweat. Time to bring things up a notch!"

Kim then proceeds to do a cartwheel (yes, a CARTWHEEL) towards the Heartless. After that, she intends to NOT throw an uppercut and send it off the screen. Rather, she intends to deliver a series of punches and kicks, and finish it off with a jab punch to make sure she finishes at the right tempo.
Priel Aylin Well. Priel didn't have any intention of getting anywhere near that giant rolling wheel of death if she could help it. Instead, she had a better idea. And so, much like Terra, she began to channel magical energies, preparing a spell to use. Making sure she was far enough out of the way of the active combat zone, the redhead closed her eyes as a red aura of magic began to form around her...

...Now if only those sandworms would SHUT UP. Not even a minute after does Priel's eyes open again, glaring off to the side at the wailing annoyances. "Hey! Shut up! We're trying to work here!" The dragon girl yelled at them, as if talking would actually do something.

Oh well, she would have to hurry the process up then if she wanted to get this spell out in time. "Blah, blah, blah! Magic, fire, and all that good stuff! Magma Pillar!" Priel chanted a rather unorthodox chant, pointing a hand forward at the raging heartless. From beneath, the ground began to shift. The temperature soon was rapidly rising, reaching a near melting point as a blast of molten heat flared upwards from under the creature.

She would have warned the others fighting to get out of the way, but...

...Nah. Seeing them dance about would be funny!

All things considered, this was probably the most effort she's put into anything in a good long while. Funny that.
Nagetta Attempt to entangle the rolling Heartless wasn't the best idea, but Nagetta manages to break lose before it rolls over her tail. Maybe trying to get on top of it would work better? She curls her tail and braces herself against the wind before bouncing upwards into the sky. Once she gets high enough she descends with spear pointed downwards and aimed at the heartless. She makes sure to try and bounce off of it, so she doesn't get ran over.
Terra Branford "I'm fine." Terra smiles sheepishly at Raiya at the conclusion of her struggle. "It's not as hard as it looks," she lies brazenly.

Terra had been braced to enforce her will upon a small maelstrom when Maira withdrew, as the other girl's power was a great girder supporting the placid air. Maira instead took the time to stabilize the room before leaving, and left a great deal of ambient magic floating around for Terra to toy with. It had all the joy, for Terra, of getting an injection and having the doctor tell her it was over before she knew she'd been stuck, and she smiled happily at Maira for the assistance.

Terra falls behind Raiya. The katana defending her is perhaps not as valuable as the words, which allow her to focus mentally on her task. Even when a great Heartless tail lashes down at her, she trusts in Raiya's protection, and indeed, she is left unharmed. But there's something no sword can cut that this beast has at its disposal: sand.

A great torrential pour of sand washes over Terra, who squeezes her eyes closed and holds her breath. She was caught on the exhale, however, just as she had been under the sea of Wutai. Just before the air clears enough, she accidentally sucks in a deep, scalding breath of sand. No!

Terra hacks roughly, dryly, blind and mute. Disoriented, she tries to grapple the winds down again in a hammerlock of will, but she pushes too hard, and they start to rise, howling. "I can do it," she mouths, repeatedly, to herself, spitting grit between. Her arms stretch wide, trembling painfully, as though they were being drawn apart by great chains. If nothing further damages her concentration, she can tame the storm back down again. If something does...
Maira Once she manages to get her vision to stop swimming, Maira rises to her feet and tries to make a quick judgement of the situation. Where would she be most helpful? Ivo seems to be focused on the prize, but he is struggling with it. Should she help him? Maybe there is some kind of trick with magic that is needed? She knows Avira can take care of herself, but she still wants to rush to her best friend's side.

Of course, those sandworms are a HUGE distraction--oh, wait. Maybe she should try to do something about those. Sleep spells? No, she doesn't have any. Potions? Not enough for beasts so large.

Suddenly, watching them, Maira's memory flashes back to long ago. In a run down building, a child is wailing, flailing about and carrying on because he was woken up by a loud noise from outside. Pulled from his sleep so forcefully, he was simply grumpy and needed help getting back to sleep. She'd laid in bed and listened as one of the older ladies who cared for the children began to sing a lullaby that calmed the boy back into peaceful slumber.

Sometimes absolutely crazy plans work, right?

Maira faces the sandworms and summons her magic, once more channeling air, forming a small current around herself in cone shape, the large opening facing toward the tantrum-throwing sand worms. Yes, she has just made a magical megaphone.

She takes a deep breath, and then she sings. Hers is a lovely voice, if a bit unsure. It is soothing however, the notes of the lullaby strung along with the same natural talent she uses for her magic. "Hush now, quiet now, it's time to lay your sleepy head. Hush now, quiet now, it's time to go to bed...."
Lily There's sand and roaring and all kinds of -everything- and both Terra and Raiya's magics are quite a mess in the face of this creature's roaring. "Awwwooooh... make them be quiet!"

The thing about the winds is that there's more to the winds and the skies than just air moving around. As Lily's agitation grows sharply, it needs a vent.

The distant Sandworms and the Heartless throwing them all into a tizzy will do just fine.


Fzzz. Spark. Crackle.

The air gets charged. It is DRY out here, it is HOT out here, and while the latter isn't helping the former definitely is. The whirling sands are an excellent source of friction, and with friction and a bit of magic--

Several dozen feet surrounding Lily quickly turns into a LIGHTNING STORM. Electricity dances about, gathering at a point... and then shoots out like CLAWS raking across the sands for the worms and the Heartless!
Raiya Fujihara Terra is right. Raiya can't defend her from the conjured sands due to the flailing sandworms. She can do her best to keep Terra from harm. It seems that the attacking Heartless had more things to worry about with so many others attacking it. There is no true attack from the creature for her to defend against. Instead, Raiya keeps a white-knuckled grip on the katana as she prepares to intercept anything that may threaten the green-haired mage. "Hang in there," instructs Raiya as she continuously turns to try to keep the Heartless and the Sandworms in sight. "I know that you are strong enough to..." Whatever Raiya was going to say is interrupted by Maira's unusual solution to the sandworm problem. Confusion sweeps over the samurai as she looks to the Sandwoms and then to the siren. Will this work? Can this even work?

It really just might be crazy enough to do so.
Katyna Katyna grits her teeth, blasted back by the heartless, but not out yet! "Ugh, they're tough!" but she's tougher, hopefully! She charges at the closest sandworm heartless thinger, Slashing and slicing her sword at it, leaving a trail of flames in her wake.
Deelel Deelel doesn't understand magic very well she knows how dangerous and useful it cna be however. She notices it seems to be helping some of her comrades as for her however she's not so lucky. She's fast, agile but if she miss times it well? She's hit and hit hard she's send sprawling but redovers fairly fast. She hears about where she might strike it from Avira.


Again the disk flies as she makes a shot for one of the hubcaps while she pulls back to recover a little bit.
Ivo Galvan The Heartless is going wild.

Shida's lightning and Umi's bullets rain down upon the Reaper's Wheel as it continues to race about, swifter down, growing more aggressive as it endures damage. Its greater speed continues to harass the Sandworms, and their massive bulk tears up the sand, making it difficult to pursue the Wheel as it charges around. The monsters are a huge and terrible nuisance, and dangerous themselves, but so far they at least do not seem to be attacking anyone, their limited sensory organs confounded by the effect of the Heartless's dark and oppressive aura.

Judge Magister Gabranth, graceful in battle for all his armor, shears toward the Heartless from one side as Avira leaps at it from the other. Her tactic is sound, and the two of them might have caught it in a fierce pincer attack, but the Heartless brakes suddenly and peels into a sharp turn, their strikes glancing off the rims, the abomination instinctively protecting its most vulnerable points. But Gesandte aims his blasts well, and the shockwaves impact against the Heartless as it veers away from Gabranth and Avira, sending it wobbling off course, one side digging into the sand and threatening to send it careening into the cliff wall.

This is the perfect opportunity to take it off guard, and TRON and Kim seize it, able to launch it into the air where, again, it appears to be more vulnerable. Nagetta's jump strikes it just as it hangs in mid-air, the powerful plunge driving it back to the sand as she bounds away. After their attacks hammer home, most of the yellow eyes about its rims have faded, and it leaves pools of shadow behind it -- as though leaking some sort of ethereal oil -- as it crashes back to the ground and shudders on its way. Attempting to regain some of its inertia, it begins to revv itself up, gearing up for a major assault--

Boom! And Priel's pillar of fire engulfs it just then, a blast of heat turning the sand around it to glass, marring the pure white beneath and cooking the Heartless to a crisp. Who would've thought she would help? Well, hopefully everyone around was far enough away from the blast.

But now the Heartless is both furious /and/ desperate. On a vengeful tear, it roars its away around, rampaging wildly as it bears down on anyone in the vicinity with an implacable force, sparing no one -- except those too far away from it, of course. It seems easily distracted by enemies in its proximity, even as Lily's lightning blasts down at it. Priel, of course, is out of range. Good luck, Priel's allies.

Meanwhile, however, the Sandworms are only growing more furious. The displays of magic, Priel's fire and Lily's lightning in particular, seem close to provoking them into violence, and the towering creatures begin to turn to leer at the adventurers, their vast fanged maws opening, promising a terrible fate. And just then--

Ivo looks up from the fossil, wiping dust and sweat from his brow, and blinks. "Hm." He slowly smiles as he sees that it is Maira who is singing, and pauses, leaning against the pillar for a moment despite the urgency of his task. "...Maybe a little nap would be alright..." No, focus!

The Sandworms are focusing-- right at Maira, the two of them slowly lowering their gargantuan tube-like heads down to the fire mage, as she bravely continues to sing up at the beasts. Then, slowly, with the occasional petulant thrash -- casting sand dangerously close to Terra, but not close enough -- the monsters begin to sink lower into the sand, their heads resting upon its surface, still remaining above and still awake but-- calm. And listening.

You may not want to stop singing.

They're really, really big.
Avira Well, shoot.

Seems Avira's actually not swift enough to damage it directly through physical attacks. For a few moments, she actually feels a little depressed about that. Clearly she hasn't been training hard enough-but at least everyone else is too busy fighting to really note her own performance.

Though inwardly loathing the thought a little, she resorts to channeling her magic through the Spine. Frost creeps over the length of her blade and it immediately grows heavier as it is burdened by ice. Dashing around, Avira waits for a good opportunity the next time the Reaper's Wheel zooms by her-

And it is NOT FLIRTING! Avira does not like Ivo AT ALL.

The next time the Heartless passes by her, Avira leaps at the hubcaps again, bringing her ice blade against it once. The second strike, given after hopping back from the first, allows a gale crafted to look like a snarling beast spring forward to slam against it. The 'creature' disappates on the strike, leaving a mess of ice in its wake.
Tifa Lockhart Explosions! Explosions everywhere! Having taken a step back, Tifa was a in good position to at least see it coming. Instead, she uses her relatively light build to jump up as the explosion happen, and uses the draft up up to further push herself upward. In the air, she uses her flexibility to direct her fall toward the angry heartless.

She's never had the chance to supplex a train of course, but how about giant wheels of death? That still worth soemthing, right?
Maira Sing she will! She will sing until the sand worms are no longer a threat, hoping they will simply go back to sleep. That Heartless, surely everyone else is handling that! They likely don't need her help there! Now, if only Ivo could free whatever it is so they could all get out of here....

Maira keeps singing her lullaby, looping it, afraid to break the spell.

By Holy, she cannot believe this is working.
Emi Dennou ""Why are we attacking the giant sandworms?" Shida says.

Umi withdraws a maker hook from her inventory and holds it out. "For this reason. They're agitated right now which means..." Her eyes narrow. "It's time... TO RIDE!"

"Wait no that's crazy!" Shida cries out. BUT IT IS TOO LATE. Umi runs towards the sandworm and jabs it in the side with the maker hook. Irritated, the sandworm rolls up so that she's pulled on top of it!

"Huraaaah!!!" Umi shouts. "I AM DOING THE WOORM! I AM DOING THE SANDWORM! RIDE MY FAITHFUL STEED AND DESTROY THOSE HEARTLESS, The Network realizes at this point that simply getting on top of you does not result in instant taming?"

Nevertheless, she and Shida use the opportunity to flail lightning at the heartless. More lightning! You can never have too much, you know.

Gabranth crosses his blades which blocks part of the impact, but the second part is what gets him and tosses him aside, before slamming him into the cliff side once more. It seems this cliff and him were having a relationship during this fight, just to bad it wasn't his type...

The Judge Magister almost crashes down to one knee, but forces himself back up. His cape swept back before his blades are surrounded with darkness. The best he seems to be able to do for now was keep the creature occupied while the other adventures did their part.

The Judge of Ambition then moves in again, connecting both of his blades in a spiraling motion to slash into the beast with the blades spinning, while his free hand then moves away to gather up dark energy in it. Then with his hand swept back as he leaps back into the air, he shoves his hand forward, sending dark waves over the heartless.

Then as Gabranth lands down on the ground, he slams his connected sword into the ground before he circles his arms into the air. A dark rune circle appears under his body, before he picks up blade from the ground and then like the very blade yanks out the mystic dark circle. It slashes his blade at the air, sending the circle toward the heartless. Which then becomes an icy blade attempting to impale the Heartless and drain of it of its life energy.
Priel Aylin "Hee hee~" Priel jeered, watching as her spell went off without a hitch. Not about to tempt fate any further though, she took a couple more steps back and away from the active combat zone further. It was a wonder the thing didn't turn on her for what she just did. Ah, the joys of having heroic meatshields handy~

Letting the battle freaks continue to wail on the heartless, Priel's ears twitched at the sound of...singing? Seriously? Was someone singing!? A turn of her head and the redhead's eyes were drawn to Maira, singing a lullaby...and hell, it was actually working. Was this some sort of joke? "....." Yet, despite her incredulity, she could not muster up any sort of smart comment.

Instead, she just watched and listened...
Gesandte Ges simply laughs as the demon beast attacks at him again, this time the gods seek to protect him fro all damage and he pushes the thing away as though it was a mere childs toy. He bends over like a sports person might do, eyeing the heartless, then charges his feet large enough to get decent traction on the sand as he runs for the monster, bringing his right hand up it begins to flair widly, the holy lights bursting from it in a firey blaze, oh he's gearing up allright

"Now demon beast, prepare yourself. Prepare thy soul for you have been judged. Prepare for your ened, for you now face the wrath of the gods themselves, prepare for the GIGAS FIST!"

He launches straight towards the monster, his flaring fist aiming true to seek the monster and end this, death to the unrepetentant that gives not remorse to repent for it's sins.
Terra Branford Terra's throat finally manages to close on a puff of sand, such that her next cough drives it out in a small sparkling cloud. Inhaling the first breath that doesn't cause her lungs to spasm in rebellion has a considerable vitifying effect on the girl, but she has a lot of mess to clean up from her earlier use of excessive force. She knows most of the party won't even notice the problem unless it gets truly catastrophic, as they have a greater danger to contend with, so she focuses on making sure they don't have to fight the elements themselves.

It's not easy. She can still barely see through her watery eyes, and she can only breath without coughing if she does so shallowly. And the chamber is gigantic, the currents powerful. Cheeks decorated with damp grit washed from her watering eyes, she looks to Raiya and nods, feeling pride and determination swell up in her chest. If the samurai would protect her so fiercely, could Terra do any less for the samurai?

Throwing her arms wide again, Terra lets her head drop back, the sound of the limpid scarlet globes of glass bound up in her hair the only thing she can hear, for a moment. Maira's lullaby calms her. She breathes out softly.

The whole room had become filled with a dull roar of wind behind all the sounds of battle, song, and earth rending, and with a pulse, that roar is erased in a progressively larger ring around Terra. Sand returns to rest on the ground, no more does anyone have to squint their eyes against grit.

Now if only there wasn't a giant rampaging Heartless in this tranquil chamber.
Kim Possible More attacks and more acrobatics by Kim. She's starting to find this is getting a bit boring though. She looks at the Heartless and says, "OK, this is getting boring, and I really want to get home in time to see Ron for a little while. So let me show you a little something." She pulls out what looks like a lipstick tube, but it's actually a laser! She fires it, then pulls back.
Lily "Erk--" Noticing that the Sandworms aren't, in fact, hostile-- just angry and agitated, Lily re-focuses her assault, channeling the lightning solely on the Heartless.

But she notices happily that the Heartless is being pinned by something or another.

She calms down just a little.. and notices from her slightly lofty perch hovering a few dozen feet above the sands... that Nagetta is in serious trouble.

"Don't get crushed!" The girl in white dvised her DESPERATELY with a yell... and gestures.

Magic streams out of her fingers, a cerulean pillar of light bringing with it raw lifeforce and rejuvenating strength!
TRON TRON catches his Disc and attempts to move away from the rampaging Heartless, but the churning sands beneath his feet stagger him. He is crushed under the spiked center drum, the spikes tearing parallel gashes from shoulder to waist through his cloak.

He scrambles away from the Heartless, spinning his staff in one hand as he nurses the deep chest wounds with the other. They don't bleed--not technically--but blue-tinted voxels drip from the wounds like shattered glass shards. He can't really say it hurts, but it's certainly an unpleasant feeling all the same.

He expels some air needlessly, then charges directly at the Heartless while it rampages. He aims a strike at one of the hubcaps, immediately jinking to the side and aiming an uppercut at at side of the 'wheel'. He then spins on the ground and throws the Disc once more, aiming to hit something vital. Maybe the weak-looking thin point between center drum and rim?
Nagetta Nagetta's unable to get out of the way in time and gets ran over by the Heartless. She cringes in pain at she's flattened by the monster. She can feel light engulf her as she slowly gets back up. "Thanks Lily..." She's still in pain, but at least she's still standing. She curls up trying to shield her body from further harm. Leaving herself open right now wouldn't be a good idea.
Deelel Deelel is having a very bad day here, a very bad day. She's just proven to not be used to fighting on such terrain. She slips on the sand she slips pretty badly and as she's going down she's caught with the full force of the attacka gainst her. To say she doesn't scream from such a hit would be a big old lie. For she does and she goes down pretty hard, she's alive but not moving that much after a hit like that.
Ivo Galvan As the Heartless swerves about, bombarded by the relentless attacks of the heroes, the two Sandworms placidly dwell, somehow enraptured by Maira's song-- until one of them stirs suddenly, rearing upward, confused. It shakes itself once in mild irritation, its rough skin rippling as it seeks to shed whatever has attached itself. And there is Umi, shouting gleefully, high above, stuck to the creature. The unmolested Sandworm turns to regard its companion, as though in puzzlement, as the Sandworm that Umi is riding, still soothed, seems unclear on how to react.

Sandworm thought processes are notoriously slow.

Whereas the Reaper's Wheel, for all its haste, cannot avoid the adventurers' well-timed strikes, all of whom are able to either avoid or endure its rampage. Avira's ice-enhanced blows hit home, the wintry gale which emits from her sword tearing at the hubcaps with its beastlike fangs and causing the wheel to at last suffer irreperable damage, the Heartless beginning to spiral out of control. This is the beginning of its downfall. Tifa slams down on the confused Wheel, and Gabranth's dark circle combines its ice magic with Avira's own, locking the other wheel in place. The Reaper's Wheel tumbles, frozen and half-broken, trembling as it tries to move again, immobilized.

Gesandte strikes at that moment, his huge frame launching straight toward the Heartless, and his flaming fist tears right /through/ the abomination, punching an enormous hole right down its middle as he charges out the other side, the combined powers of fire and ice rending the Reaper's Wheel asunder. TRON's attack from the side, now that the Heartless is half-destroyed, sends one half of the enemy flying up into the air, where it dissipates into a dark plume of smoke. The remaining half is there, twitching for a bit, as though trying to make sense of what's happened to it. But of course, Heartless can't make sense of things.

So instead, it just dissolves into oblivion.


With the dissipation of the Heartless, the Sandworms, already mostly subdued by Maira's song -- Umi's whooping notwithstanding -- rouse themselves slightly, and then seem to reset, their simple consciousnesses understanding only that the agitating presence has vanished. The riderless one sinks into the sand. But the one bearing Umi, still somewhat confused but no longer aggressive, begins to burrow its way toward the canyons, leaving the clearing and beginning to thread its way through the canyons, its towering frame beginning to wander aimlessly off into the sunset.

Farewell, Umi.

With a satisfying click of metal against stone, Ivo pulls the fossilized feather from the pillar at last, cloak swirling as he turns, carefully bearing it in his arms. "Whew... alright, we can finally get... oh, hey."


"Nice fighting, everyone."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart phews, standing up after her last attacks, and giving the thumbs up to Ivo "So is it a world shard these things are protecting?" She points toward the tamed sandworms.

Actually, she double-takes toward them "... I shouldn't ask."
Maira As the Heartless is destroyed and the sand worms no longer need her soothing song, Maira lets the magic drop and her lullby with it.

Without further adieu, Maira flops backward onto her begin into the sand, thoroughly exhausted and absolutely stunned that that crazy plan actually worked. She guesses they really were just grumpy children!

Blinking, she looks around. "Is...everyone alright?" she asks.
TRON TRON's attention is drawn to Deelel's scream as the other Program is taken down by the Heartless, which soon thereafter disappears into a poof of smoke. "Deelel!" He leaps over to her, kneeling at her side and checking over the damage she'd taken. Nothing she'll derez from, but nasty looking all the same.

He watches the sandworms warily, uncertain if they'd attack or not, and only relaxes slightly when they passively depart from the area.

He glances up at Ivo, noting he had freed the fossilized feather that is likely their prize. "Thanks." He glances over at Terra, as if realizing something. Wasn't she keeping the winds calm? Which means... "We should probably get out of this place, quickly." He carefully picks up Deelel in both arms and heads for the canyon, if only to get away from the vortex that's sure to return sooner than later.
Gesandte Ges lands on his feet after that fierece attack, turning around to see the rest of the scene unfold yep it's good ok. He looks over the others, to make sure there are none no longer amongst them and that simple medical help is all that is needed. Trudging over to where some of them are to give overlooks to make sure they are still breathing and in one piece.
Emi Dennou "Wooooooooooh!!!" Umi shouts. "Wa...wait you're going the wrong way...Turn around?" Pause. "Turn around?" Pause. "Aww nevermind this is awesome. Farewell space cowboys!!" She waves back to her friends as she's taken off... somewhere. How is she going to get back down?

Shida says, " dot dot."
The Heartless has been dispatched and it would seem everyone is alright. The Judge Magister glances at everyone as he unlocks his swords and sheaths them back into their places. His eyes, though hidden by the helm, return back to their blue color, before he turns and walks away from those gathered.

He was no longer needed here and it would seem all was safe. Whatever these adventurers were doing was not of his concern. Those worms were and it would seem they too have been dealt with. So there goes the Judge Magister with the red Archadian Emblem easy to make out as he walks off.
Terra Branford Terra resumes her feet again. She's visibly lighter than before; she touches the ground, but more like a faerie than a person, due to the buoyancy of her ongoing air magicks. "I'm all right," she assures TRON with a wan, grateful smile. She /does/ want to get out of this area; she'll sleep like a rock after this. "Just... make sure you get everything, I'd rather not have to come back," she quips to Ivo and the others examining his find, steadying herself by gripping Raiya's sleeve.
Deelel Deelel is alive, she's moving and thankfully. As Tron comes over to her she's struggling to get up though. "ugg, that thing so fast." She also realises she's got a lot to learn. A whole lot more to learn, but she's alive and that's what counts. She's piocked up and carried, she should be fine in time, and prehaps with a few potions.
Avira Well that was...unexpected. Avira could see, in that moment, the mist of her attack combining with that of the Judge Magister's in an odd way to freeze it in place. There was something both poetic and terrifying about that.

Once it has crumbled, Avira backs away and...

...spins the Spine overhand and stabs it into the sand in front of her. Both hands come to rest on the hilt of the inverted blade.

Moment of victory posing past, she's quick to check on the status of her fellow VALKYRI.
Nagetta Nagetta's rather beat up from all the fighting. "At least it's over..." The lamia has certainly felt better. She needs sleep and nice large meal after all of that. She looks at the fossiled feather. "What's that for?" She wonders what they went through all that trouble for after all.
Priel Aylin "Hmn, well that was over all too soon." Priel muttered, resting her hands on her hips as she surveyed the remaining activity. Suppose this counted as a job well done. She didn't have to lift a finger to fight and her clothes weren't harmed as all!

Oh, and everyone else was still alive. Suppose that counted for something as well. BUT NOT AS MUCH! A shame that there was nothing valuable to be had from this venture. Where was the gold, the jewels, the artifacts! ...Now she was beginning to miss her stash from back home.

Approaching the monument then, the redhead eyed what Ivo had unearthed with a raised eyebrow. "...Is this supposed to be exciting?"
Ivo Galvan Ivo regards his exhausted fellow adventurers with an amused smile that only partially masks the relief in his eyes. Deelel and Nagetta seem to have been injured, but Lily is healing the Lamia and TRON has rushed to the aid of his fellow program. Unaware that one of the Legion is missing -- who can keep track of all of them, anyway? -- his gaze sweeps the area, settling on Gabranth, emblazoned with the emblem of Archadia and recognizable in his role by his armor, trudging away. "Just like that?" he murmurs. "Not even giving us time to thank him... Judges are formidable." Idly, he wonders which one that was, anyway.

TRON's query to Terra stirs Ivo back to reality, though, and the knight-errant -- so prone to feign flippancy -- is humbled by the Program's solicitude. "Ah... TRON's right." Of course, Terra must be struggling even now. To think he'd forgotten. Well, Ivo, your calculations can't exceed those of a computer. "Let's remove ourselves from this wind chamber and examine the fossil." Bearing it in his arms, he glances back down at the device still dangling from his hand, which still fails to stir. "...strange..." He's mumbling to himself. Did he expect the Shard Seeker device to work or not!?

Terra's good humor after her ordeal distracts Ivo from his thoughts, the young swordsman blinking and then grinning again, visibly impressed with the green-haired girl. "You possess wisdom and grace in equal measure, Miss Branford," the Shard Seeker remarks, "to say nothing of your fortitude. Come, let's away." He nods gratefully to TRON as he picks Deelel up, glancing over to make sure that everyone else is--

"Avira, is now /really/ the time for a victory pose?"

Whoops, he caught her at just the wrong time.

Visibly amused, making his way toward the exit and the canyons beyond, Ivo falls in alongside Nagetta. "I'm not sure... it looks like a phoenix pinion, if anything... but why would it be here, preserved so carefully, such that someone would deliberately guard it with a wall of wind?"

His speculations are rudely interrupted.

"Oh, I'll excite you, alright," he immediately replies to Priel, countering her raised eyebrow with a raised eyebrow of his own. "If you thought /those/ worms were big, just w--"

A gust of wind blows sand in his face.

This scene contained 105 poses. The players who were present were: Ivo Galvan, Lily, Priel Aylin, Raiya Fujihara, Tifa Lockhart, Katyna, Terra Branford, Nagetta, Avira, Deelel, Maira, TRON, Emi Dennou, Kim Possible, Gesandte, Gabranth