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File 165519739326.jpg - (2.04MB , 4032x3024 , drit_may_be_more_fertile_than_it_appears.jpg )
1034928 No. 1034928 ID: f57349

Yesterday you were nearly four hundred miles northeast of here, just outside the City of Needles. An ancient automaton, wise but wounded, broke through the floor of a windrider repair shop (on a hill outside of town, pictured) and sent you on a quest. Or, for those less interested in grand narratives, hired you to deliver a payload to a target. Apparently a big rock, up beyond the sky, is going to fall and kill approximately everyone, unless you reach it first and blow it up in just the right way.

Your advance payment included a set of three chainpods: swift, efficient, and versatile amphibious vehicles. Unfortunately they're designed to seat one person each, and there are six of you, so things have been a bit cramped... but even so, from Thaemor's capital to the mouth of Cerdyn's Pass in just one night! Conventional armies might count themselves lucky to march that route in less than a month. It's autumn, and you're barely a third of the way to the Light'ning Beanstalk, which isn't even the true destination so much as another bottleneck on your route, but such dizzying speed leaves you pondering the possibility of a victorious return before winter.

Up ahead, past the next switchback, there's the town of Hallux, stopover point for trade caravans (though it's late in the year to be busy with that now, snow and ice might block the pass before normal wagons made it through), plus a moderately famous apothecary and bathhouse fed by natural hot springs. Some of you have family there.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1034929 ID: f57349
File 165519764661.png - (1.21MB , 962x591 , Hallux_round1.png )
1034929

The hot spring encountered a fatal error and shut down.
>>
No. 1034930 ID: f57349

Burning house at point A will collapse in 19 rounds, killing anyone still trapped inside. Villagers at point B may be in even more immediate danger, since they've been cornered by a pack of magma weasels. Installation at point C is making enough noise to be noticeable despite the distance and panicked screaming, indicating a severe malfunction. Finally, point D has wagons, draft animals, and their handlers, all stuck on a slowly shrinking island surrounded by molten rock.

OP art by Strngy; map copied from Numenera: Destiny rulebook
Discussion: https://discord.gg/ZuGRZKD
Character sheets: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P90ixXdsAnUzHTc9agVrOhUUZWvxACrPRCvUVzB2CDU

Introduce yourselves, declare your actions, and type or copy dice 20d20 into the e-mail field. This is Numenera, so players roll all the dice.
>>
No. 1034935 ID: e5709d

rolled 19, 8, 2, 1, 3, 10, 10, 15, 5, 5, 6, 2, 20, 5, 1, 6, 12, 12, 20, 5 = 167

"I am a Lithe Nano who devours all knowledge."
Name: Sahara
Appearance: Shirazi-Mau girl

Sahara quickly interrogates some of the fleeing villagers, asking for a map of the spring's internal layout, if they know where their emergency fire extinguishers or the hot spring's emergency override is, and if there are any obscure passages out of this hellhole. As the villagers answer a paltry few of her questions, Sahara is distracted by the screams surrounding <Point A>. Ignoring the house on fire, Sahara does a quick smash-and-grab search of the surrounding houses for any civilians who have not left their homes, nabbing a combination of treasures that will soon be consumed by the fire anyway, and anything that might be used to rescue the people trapped in the critical zones.
>>
No. 1034944 ID: f57349

>>1034935
Your character has been staying in Hallux as far back as you can clearly remember, two or three days at least, and is currently at point C, caught between the glitched-out Volcano Tamer installation (level 5) and six angry magma weasels.
The weasels are individually level 2, meaning you'd only need a 6 or better to hit (before other modifiers), but four of them ganging up on the same target attack as a single level 4 creature, meaning you'd need a 12 or better to defend (again, before other modifiers) and they might actually be able to inflict injury.
If you can get the installation back in working order, that'll probably stop additional lava flowing into town, meaning a lot less people dying or losing all their worldly possessions over then next few hours.
>>
No. 1034945 ID: e5709d

rolled 12, 12, 9, 4, 7, 6, 10, 3, 15, 14, 12, 12, 16, 18, 9, 1, 16, 10, 1, 5 = 192

"I am a Tough Builder who Fuses Flesh With Steel. If we die here, I just want you to know that I always HATED THIS JOB, AND I QUIT!"
Reiko screams in bitter disarray as she desperately helps the other engineers with the 'repairs' to the geothermal stabilizer, which is currently spewing an output of encrypted text with the word 'nyan' interlaced at random intervals.

Reiko is at Point C. It has been about three months since she signed up as a temporary worker for the holiday season, as an apprentice for one of the geothermal engineers. Her experience, if she could register a review, would begin with the title "Zero-Sum Relaxation", as she has been underpaid, forced into overtime, harassed by visitors and staff alike for her disgusting cybernetics, sexually harassed by her mentor, and then 'inexplicably' bullied about her sexuality by everyone but her mentor. If she didn't get free access to the spa, she would have snapped and gone on a rampage. Again.

With this final insult to her latest career blunder, she wonders if she should have. Maybe less people would have died to this catastrophe.

If success:
"Okay, that bought the others some leeway, but I'm done with this unpaid overtime! Grab the Numenera, and head to the exit or the boats! We're getting out of this alive."
If failure:
"Does anyone even know what they're doing? You know what, screw this! I don't get paid enough to take ashen facials! Anyone who doesn't want to die, follow me to the-"

Ignore my previous post, sorry. Playing as a Builder named Reiko.
>>
No. 1034950 ID: e9ea55
File 165522317512.png - (214.78KB , 600x600 , Saoirse Modern.png )
1034950

rolled 15, 12, 10, 9, 5, 10, 13, 19, 9, 13, 19, 3, 15, 16, 8, 7, 13, 3, 13, 18 = 230

"I'm a Risk-Taking Jack who Wields Words like Weapons!"
Saoirse declares, her porcelain skin already sweating from the heat.

She points to her partner, Paprika. "Go handle those Magma Weasels, try and scare them off if you can!" She directs, before rushing her way to point C. She was really more of a 'people' kind of intellectual, but she'd learned on the job before. As a matter of fact (Flex Skill), she'd spent the very previous day listening to some of the tech-heads talk about the installation, and she racks her brain for anything useful they might've brought up on the way to the installation.
>>
No. 1034953 ID: 0bc06c
File 165522488339.png - (0.98MB , 720x1134 , Screenshot_20220610-115339~2.png )
1034953

rolled 20, 2, 9, 2, 17, 3, 13, 16, 1, 8, 2, 12, 3, 16, 1, 10, 1, 14, 18, 20 = 188

Jeez, okay, so time is of the essence, the fairly tall catgirl Jack freshly wearing the hood of an adventurer wordlessly decided. Time to go headlong into the burning building leaving the Chain pods for someone else to deal with as she will scout for survivors to drag as many people out as she can or die trying.
>>
No. 1034960 ID: 3f01d5

Mask, so-called because of a distinct metal face-covering that mimics their expressions (and because they haven't given anyone a straight answer about their name) is a Passionate Glaive that Controls Beasts. An army deserter who joined up with the party to try and get out of town fast, and hopefully make enough money to invest in a lizard ranch while doing so.

Might Edge 1, Pool 13
Speed Edge 1, Pool 12
Intellect Edge 0, Pool 9
Combat Prowess with Melee.
Trained in armor, running, climbing, swimming and balancing.
Has inability in tasks requiring restraint or subtlety, and at crafting/salvaging/understanding numenera.
Inability: tasks requiring restraint or subtlety are hindered
Fighting moves:
-fleet of foot
-impressive display
Fever: bonus damage when angry
Fire inside: bonus can apply to almost anything related to your passion, but limited use per day
Equipment: clothing, 5 shins, lucerne with a shield, medium armor, level 7 community beacon, level 5 motion sensor, and a metallic mask that fits perfectly, and changing expression when you do.

Has an exceptional Laak as an animal companion- small, green-skinned venomous lizards, hunt larger prey in groups by climbing onto it and biting vulnerable spots.
>>
No. 1034963 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 18, 7, 5, 6, 14, 17, 18, 8, 19, 14, 18, 18, 3, 9, 6, 15, 1, 7, 17, 14 = 234

>>1034930
Mask tries to get the chain pods as close to point C as possible, to make unloading the barrel of tools as easy as possible.

"Wise-man! You go with the debtor- I have faith the two of you will stop whatever has gone afoul with the springs. Spicy one- you can stop things from burning, yes? Can you make us a bridge to get those pack animals across this molten slag? I'll work with soft-foot to get the burning building evacuated, but if there's time between getting those weasels away, it may be smart to bring an ax, just in case- those merchants probably have one, and I imagine the high-born can get to us quickly enough with her displays of speed."

If we can't find anything sufficiently thick, wide, and long (not clear how big the rivulets of lava surrounding D are) then Mask with toss the syringe component of the community beacon to Natalina, and stick the end point at the chain pods.
>>
No. 1035005 ID: 287555

rolled 18, 10, 15, 6, 20, 10, 1, 6, 11, 13, 7, 6, 11, 1, 20, 7, 12, 7, 16, 20 = 217

>The hot spring encountered a fatal error and shut down.
This adventure is off to a terrible start.

Natalina is a the cultured arkus who shreds the walls of the world. Well-raised and educated, with a rapier on her hip and fine pillbox hat on her head, she seeks to make a name for herself, and in doing so, restore her family's name. A rock killing approximately everyone poses a definite determent to her own interests, but also an opportunity.

>>1034953
"Eliznyabeth!" Natalina calls out as the group begins to disperse. "Your gravity-changer would be a great help to Paprika in diverting the lava flow!" While the beast-woman might be well suited towards rescuing those trapped in the burning building (point A), that tool might be of more use assisting in another task.

Natalina herself will accompany Mask to site B, as the townspeople there appear in most dire need, and unless the beast tamer managers to quickly divert the beasts, fending off molten wildlife while covering civilians is more than a one-person job. Her disrupting blade might be able to harm even rocky biology, if necessary. Perhaps make use of her Understanding power on the magma weasels while we're moving into position?
>>
No. 1035011 ID: 97a765

rolled 19, 18, 11, 2, 18, 3, 9, 6, 14, 7, 5, 13, 2, 20, 4, 17, 17, 19, 17, 8 = 229

Paprika is a Graceful Glaive...

...?

>"Go handle those Magma Weasels, try and scare them off if you can!"
>"Spicy one- you can stop things from burning, yes?"

She snaps back to the present. "Um. What?"

>"Can you make us a bridge ..."

"A bridge...?" her companions are already scrambling off. She approaches the lava flow in a daze and spends precious seconds staring transfixed through the roiling air, through the burning buildings and off into space. In the midst of her reverie Paprika comes to realize four things: that the screaming all around her is actually happening, and lives are in danger, and this time she can do something about it.

Oh right. And also that she [i]Bears a Halo of Fire[i]. Paprika steels herself and begins scrounging through the nearby buildings for something big enough to bridge the gap.
>>
No. 1035099 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 12, 12, 13, 6, 11, 1, 20, 18, 5, 11, 1, 8, 11, 14, 16, 10, 20, 10, 16, 8 = 223

I'm a Mystical Wright who Adjures the Leviathan. Also known as Grundlehaven Havespont. I'm an old old old man who is mechanically adept but has a poor attitude. I'm a magic mechanic who has a bit of a problem streak with an interest in the dead and a disinterest in the living. It's fine though my party doesn't need to know the mistakes I've made in my youth.

Appearance: A fat old man with poor posture, long grey and white hair, with a big gut and skinny legs. Typically with a walking stick and a tool belt on.

Getting out of the pod and seeing the explosion it's nothing crazier than I've seen in my youth. Though the screaming people tend to get a little irate when you act like what's happening to them isn't as big a deal to you as it is to them. Already having accepted a death toll higher than anyone is happy about ol Grundle perks his ears up when told to go help with the broken machinery. He stretches a bit and then heads that direction ignoring the OSHA hazard signs. Likely because some poor shmuck ignored safety regulations in order to get the job done faster. That's how this stuff always starts out.

Over at <point C> he takes stock of the situation. He sees a young (everyone is young to him) lady (assumed) also distressed about the machine and yells over to her.
"Glitched out Volcano Tamer eh? I'm too old and frail to be getting near that much heat We need to find some sort of PPE before we can head straight into that mess! You have any idea what's going on with this thing youngin? I've dealt with things like this but nothing exactly like it so I can only try to fix it with vauge guesses. If you're more specialized. I'd be happy to help with more detailed work!"

He's going to look for protective gear to don before attempting to fix anything. He's also going to look for some sort of external controls that may allow insight into what's going wrong with the machine or if it can be controlled externally without getting into the nitty gritty area. After all what if it just needs a soft reset?
>>
No. 1035105 ID: f57349

Eliznyabeth, who was driving since she knows the terrain and has the best night vision, parks the front pod just south of point A, pops the lid, and disembarks. Natural 20, so major additional effect: whiplash from that abrupt stop and perfectly timed disconnect sends the other two pods careening off in useful directions. Actual rescue efforts can start next round, or you could take Natalina's advice and fling the "down" sign to Paprika, Saorise, or Grundle, who may be in a better position to make use of it.
As you walk up to the burning house [a level 4 problem, so base target number is 12+] and start to look for a suitable entry point, one of the locals turns, sees you, and mumbles something like "Alive? A miracle..." It's possible they've mistaken you for either your mom (though it's unclear how they would've gotten word so quick), or your geologist cousin Elanyah, who you were hoping to meet here.

Natalina and Mask roll up to the small battle at point B, jogging backward atop a pair of barrels.
Natalina studies the pattern of the magma weasels' pack tactics, selects and readies an oversized wrought-iron fireplace poker (from the barrel of forge and kitchen supplies) to avoid staining her ancestral dueling blade with an unworthy beast's blood, or worse yet detempering the edge with excessive heat. Counts as a heavy weapon, so she's not proficient and needs both hands, but could still hit level 2 enemies like these on a 9+ even before available bonuses from Understanding, Learned, and/or Effort, and six damage means only needing to hit once each.
Mask comes to a stop by flipping the (still sealed) water barrel up on its end, creating a small stable patch of high ground. Should be easily visible for addressing the crowd, and defensible since magma weasels may be reluctant to climb something so cold and damp. Pet lizard, dizzy and frightened by all the excitement, mistakenly fetches the lid of Davina's barrel rather than Mask's actual shield, but that works out okay since opening up said barrel enables townsfolk to arm themselves.
Two human extras and three weasels are injured in the first round, none critically. You also meet Tayle the Chirurgeon, a slender man covered in tattoos. He's nominally in charge of whatever's left of local medical services, as of a few minutes ago when both his maternal grandparents (about whom Reiko Droptable had an unending litany of complaints) were reduced to ash. They were in bed together, sound asleep; it might have even been painless. Odd that the flames would be such a bright green.

Paprika, launched west-north-west and upward as a chainpod splits in half and flips over around her (don't worry, it's supposed to do that... sort of...) surveys the wider situation from above and rejects it, refuses to fall back in, tries to bend the burning horror toward a happier outcome by force of will like some recurring lucid dream. Minor additional effect from that natural 19 provides an extra short distance movement beyond what Fleet Of Foot would normally allow, in the form of a semi-controlled gliding descent - preview of personal flight capability that'll be unlocked at a higher tier.
Search for suitable building materials comes to a successful conclusion with awkward but upright landing on a tile roof just east of point D: loose ceramic half-pipe sections skitter down past Paprika's feet, and those that land in the lava stream float as comfortably as corks in water. Seems the reddish-black type is naturally low-density and heat resistant, so reinforcing that further with spray-on fireproof coating should be suitable foundation for a miniature pontoon bridge.
Five or ten minutes to do all the work yourself, maybe as little as ten rounds with enough others helping. One such span would be enough to let ordinary people walk across single file in relative safety. Not sure it'd be able to bear an aneen's weight, but they could probably just hop across even without a bridge, if unencumbered and encouraged by herding instincts to meet a familiar handler on the other side. For wagons you'd need two such spans, carefully aligned to match the wheel spacing.

Saorise ends round one sprinting straight down the middle of Hallux's main street, a short distance southeast of Paprika, well positioned for a jump over lava next round. Might be close enough to plug that enhancement cypher into the volcano tamer on round 3, but if repairs aren't complete yet when you do, it'll just end up doing the wrong thing all that much more vigorously. Higher effective level would also make subsequent repair attempts nearly impossible until the enhancer burned itself out.

Reiko rips loose an access panel and swings it behind her, fending off most of the nearby magma weasels for a few moments. One gets past (thanks to that 4 you rolled), bouncing up over the rest and biting through a sleeve, but lets out a teakettle-like wail of dismay upon discovering that Ms. Lastname's arm is made of tougher stuff than the weasel's own niobium-alloy teeth. No damage.
Figured out what's wrong with the machine, now it's just a matter of re-tensioning a loose drive belt and degaussing resonator tubes. Two more rounds if all goes well.

Grundle is keeping pace a step or two behind Saorise, but not easily, and much less confident about a jump. Planning to follow the gambler's shortcut? Circle around to the south, slower but safer? Turn back toward point B and seize a magma weasel's tiny little mind, to make it your minion temporarily and take pressure off teammates?
>>
No. 1035206 ID: 97a765

rolled 15, 15, 13, 19, 12, 14, 10, 11, 9, 11, 6, 12, 12, 4, 7, 16, 3, 4, 15, 7 = 215

>maybe as little as ten rounds with enough others helping

Paprika will start collecting/treating roof tiles and shout to any nearby residents to encourage them to come help her make this pontoon bridge. She'll also try to signal to the trapped handlers to be ready to cross.
>>
No. 1035207 ID: e5709d

rolled 2, 6, 11, 20, 6, 7, 6, 7, 19, 12, 2, 19, 19, 3, 1, 13, 10, 1, 10, 9 = 183

Reiko quickly pins the magma weasel to the ground and chops it into tiny pieces (1 Might Effort). With the immediate threat neutralized, she assesses the situation, trying to find at least one engineer who survived so they can fix the two issues while she holds the other five weasels off. To her dismay, none of the other engineers survived. In fact, none of the corpses belonged to security. Most importantly, a majority of the corpses have some degree of burns or heat damage. They are not supposed to be flammable.

Realization dawns with a seething fury as she realizes this was either a setup or an act of pure incompetence. The Volcano Tamer needed qualified engineers with resistance to fire and a skeleton crew of guards who also had a resistance to fire, to prevent anyone or anything from causing this specific situation from happening, especially with fragile heat-collecting components. Neither were present at the time of the breach, and even Reiko was supposed to be elsewhere; she disobeyed her orders and went on a break to get some time to clear her head. The other specialists and talented engineers were likely reassigned to where she was supposed to be; the northern districts of the town, where... well.

Anger courses through her, and she channels it into a bestial howl of feral frenzy to intimidate the remaining weasels into retreating to go kill someone else (1 Intellect Effort), so she can concentrate on fixing the machine.
>>
No. 1035210 ID: e9ea55

rolled 2, 19, 10, 4, 14, 17, 11, 19, 4, 12, 9, 7, 9, 11, 17, 7, 6, 6, 4, 10 = 198

Saoirse continued to dash forward, still racking her mind for that information. Where needed, she used her quarterstaff to pole vault over the narrower flows of magma.

Her main focus was just getting to where she needed to be. Sure, she could save the citizens, but unless someone got to the device behind this calamity, they'd soon have to deal with a caravan of traumatized survivors with no hope of getting their home back. And that just didn't sit right with her.
>>
No. 1035220 ID: e9ea55

((Alright, so, as I'm following up that 2 with a Pressing Your Luck (since that's what I'd do if I didn't know my very next roll would be on the opposite end of the spectrum) and invoking a GM intervention, I believe that's +1 EXP to me and one person of my choosing, so, Grundlehaven, enjoy a point of EXP for whatever magic trick follows Saoirse sticking her pole in lava.

And before you say it, no, that came out exactly as I meant it to.))
>>
No. 1035223 ID: aa8cad

rolled 18, 11, 6, 9, 9, 5, 18, 14, 15, 15, 4, 16, 7, 20, 5, 19, 18, 20, 12, 18 = 259

A two-handed stance might not be what she usually favored, but this was certainly the better tool for the job.

"Have at you, you molten miscreants!" Natalina calls out, bringing her fireplace poker down on the nearest magma weasel. Mechanically, applying bonuses from understanding, learned, and effort (at the cost of 3 points from her Speed pool).
>>
No. 1035249 ID: 89895c

rolled 13, 6, 12, 14, 1, 1, 6, 19, 2, 18, 15, 20, 12, 6, 10, 12, 15, 12, 9, 8 = 211

Questions regarding the dubiously accurate identity that people are assigning to her can come later, for now she will try to splinter the beam blocking the door with her gauntlet blades, at least enough that she can move a piece of it out of the way for people to escape.

"How many other people are in here?" She would ask to the one person who said that she was a miracle
>>
No. 1035508 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 14, 16, 16, 7, 6, 7, 4, 11, 20, 16, 1, 9, 8, 19, 6, 10, 8, 3, 20, 15 = 216

>>1035105
>Natalina and Mask roll up to the small battle at point B, jogging backward atop a pair of barrels.

"Poor beasts probably have no idea what's going on. We needn't slaughter them- just push them back away from the villagers. We can worry about questing after them once the damage in town is under control!"

It was suggested in the discord that I could use the combat maneuver "Impressive Display" to try and increase my chances of intimidating them. Haven't read up on all the rules yet, but that sounds like a fine plan of action to me. If that involves having at attack one of them for the intimidation to work, lets just make sure we go for non-lethal force.
>>
No. 1035510 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 9, 9, 2, 5, 19, 12, 12, 19, 11, 10, 11, 12, 7, 8, 1, 9, 2, 5, 15, 7 = 185

Fast and quick! No time to waste and my companions can handle foul creatures for now. Who's to say there isn't an infestation where I could actually be useful!
>>
No. 1035512 ID: f57349

Reiko grabs the weasel that bit her, throws it down, and stomps hard enough to hammer it into the ground like a tent-peg. It's prone and stunned (thanks to that 20 on defense), but not all that badly injured - landed on a relatively soft patch of drit, and shoe leather isn't the best weapon against hot rocks. Switching to a proper blade would mean setting down tools needed for the repair work, and it's bad enough having some weird critter grab the shiny stuff under non-emergency conditions.
Manage to block some of the other weasels' attacks (with that 6) but overall the pack is starting to find your vulnerable spots. Needed a 12 to stop the level 4 swarm attack, only rolled an 11. Armor reduces the hit's final damage to 2.

Saoirse misjudges the distance, or perhaps misconstrues lava as working like brightly-colored water that's unsafe to touch. Turns out it's denser and more viscous, too. Pole sinks in to the middle of the first stream, enabling a successful vault across onto the strip of solid ground just south of point D, but, almost like a fishing spear, gets stuck on some great wriggling mass which is dragged back up along with it. Continuing the momentum, Saoirse flips her staff overhead, trebuchet-launching most of the glob toward the shore of the lake, then completes the second jump as originally planned.
Complication due to pressing your luck: the glob unfolds into four more magma weasels who are not at all happy about someone, first of all, interrupting their nap, second, throwing them onto damp sand, and third, apparently standing in the way of them getting back to a comfortably warm environment.
Quarterstaff is also on fire. That must be why glassblowers use metal pipes rather than, say, bamboo.
One point of damage from spending most of the round in close proximity to lava. Magma ferrets aren't quite in melee range yet, thanks to that 19, but if you run straight toward the installation you'll be simultaneously setting off their chase instinct and getting yourself surrounded.
Good news about that is, could use Fleet of Foot to move a short distance north and toss the Installation Enhancer to Reiko as one action, then draw off all the weasels on the west side of town so she can work uninterrupted.

Grudlehaven clears the first jump, but, lacking Fleet of Foot, stumbles and falls after landing on the island a short distance south of point D. Also takes 1 point of damage due to lava proximity. Could get back up and attempt the second jump next round, but without room for a full running start it'll be a lot harder - need a 15+, or 12+ with Effort.

Natalina flattens the two largest magma weasels at once, but gets splashed with yellow-hot innards in the process: four damage, meaning she only has one Might left.
Not sure either of that pair are actually dead - might just be some vomit-equivalent. Definitely took them out of the fight, though.

Mask roars and stomps the ground, spending one Might (after Edge discount) on Impressive Display. Several weasels bite into his ersatz barrel-top shield, so he flings it like a discus and most of the pack goes chasing after, due west toward the southernmost tongue of lava. Could retrieve and ready actual shield next round.

Townsfolk at point B have been rescued, with few enough injuries they can go on to provide assistance elsewhere. Could reach point A in two rounds, or Paprika's bridge construction project in three.

Eliznyabeth hacks away at the fallen beam, but it'll take four more good hits before the way is clear. Five people are believed to be inside: Mia Xan the diplomat, her spouse, their two children, and some overnight guest. Rumor mill disagrees on guest's exact identity, but definitely young, and lacking family resemblance to the others.

>>1035206
>She'll also try to signal to the trapped handlers to be ready to cross.
Aram the stablemaster, a tall spindly man with no hair, shouts back that at the rate the drit's eroding, they've got maybe nine or ten minutes before the wainwright's workshop catches fire. Between sawdust, oil, and dry dung, the rest will go soon after. He's got eight aneen plus a miniature albino, half a dozen carts loaded with sacks of early-ripening millet, five hired hands, and (though he doesn't quite say this out loud) no plan, until you came along. None of the six are particularly skilled carpenters, but they do know how to move heavy things.
He'll start directing the aneen to tear out some beams of suitable size with their forelimbs, while Paprika gets the tiles ready. Freeing up the crowd from point B would provide an adequate workforce for both ends at once.

Now that some of you have 1 xp, options for how that may be spent:
*Reroll a die, taking your choice among the results
*Refuse a GM intrusion (though that means you don't gain XP from it)
*Attempt a ranged attack against a target farther away than would otherwise be possible, or whose exact position is unknown
*Various other immediate "dumb luck" advantages
...or of course you could save it up toward more lasting effects. Short- and Medium-term are 2 xp each, long-term 3 xp, permanent 4 xp, can't hold more than ten unspent.
In the case of GM intrusions forced by rolling a 1, spending xp to refuse also gets you a reroll. If the reroll is another 1, I'll come up with a different intrusion and you can pick which you'd prefer, or spend another point to reroll again. More generally, you can keep rerolling the same die until you either get a result you're satisfied with or run out of banked xp, though this isn't usually advisable.
>>
No. 1035514 ID: f57349

Looks like I misread, Natalina should actually be at 4/8 Might and 6/9 Speed.
>>
No. 1035519 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 17, 14, 14, 4, 12, 12, 9, 1, 15, 20, 5, 14, 3, 13, 7, 10, 3, 20, 20, 19 = 232

>>1034928
>Townsfolk at point B have been rescued, with few enough injuries they can go on to provide assistance elsewhere. Could reach point A in two rounds, or Paprika's bridge construction project in three.

Mask swings their lucerne overhead in a slow, circular motion- the way one might swing a lasso, or posture of a crowd in a spectator sport.

"I need two strong hands, to rally with me towards a burning home! If we work together we should be able to break those inside free of the rubble and evacuate! The rest of you, rally behind the noblewoman! The rest of the town is still ablaze, but together we can overcome this inferno and set upon the tasks ahead!"

With a shout, Mask then thrusts their weapon in the direction of the burning building and storms to help Eliznyabeth excavate those trapped inside.
>>
No. 1035520 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 6, 19, 5, 18, 15, 19, 4, 8, 14, 18, 18, 6, 7, 15, 2, 10, 4, 3, 17, 16 = 224

Grundle screams extremely loudly cursing heavily at the searing hot pain of the lava. Its mostly a bark not a bite issue though as it hurts but not enough to stop him from bouncing back up. He leaps up as quickly as he can and runs towards the fatter part of island that hasn't sunk yet. He runs towards Paprika and notices the attempts at the bridge

"If we can get enough stability I can help control the beasts fashioning the wagon to get peoples livelihoods across!"

Turning to the townsfolk hes going to attempt to pacify them enough to get them structured enough to help.

"The island is sinking but we have more than enough hands to help get everyone across. We can work together to save everyone including the beasts"

If success: Take instructions from Paprika to help identify materials on our side to make the bridge sturdier and fill it more quickly. Look around for objects that could with my crafting materials theoretically help stabilize the bridge enough to hold the beasts and animals.

If fail: follow through alone simply aiming for tiles to help the people or any other buoyant material
>>
No. 1035526 ID: 287555

rolled 2 + 1 = 3

>Natalina [...] gets splashed with yellow-hot innards in the process: four damage
Ssssss-ow, ow, yes, definitely the right decision not to stick the ancestral blade in that.

>Townsfolk at point B have been rescued, with few enough injuries they can go on to provide assistance elsewhere. Could reach point A in two rounds, or Paprika's bridge construction project in three.

>"I need two strong hands, to rally with me towards a burning home! If we work together we should be able to break those inside free of the rubble and evacuate! The rest of you, rally behind the noblewoman! The rest of the town is still ablaze, but together we can overcome this inferno and set upon the tasks ahead!"
Natalina will direct the the remaining rescued townsfolk, minus the duo accompanying Mask, to support Paprika's bridge-building.

She'll take a moment to catch her breath and make a recovery roll.
>>
No. 1035766 ID: e5709d

rolled 13, 19, 13, 19, 8, 7, 16, 8, 16, 10, 4, 15, 13, 15, 13, 6, 14, 4, 16, 1 = 230

"Broken town with racist guests and an idiot manager and a sex-starved wife and a rotted maintenance system and I hate these ferrets no hate these fire NO HATE HATE HATE THESE MAGMA MUSTELIDAE MOTHERF-"

Reiko has begun screaming her head off. She directs it towards the magma weasels.
Intimidate (Intelligence + Effort)
>>
No. 1035800 ID: e9ea55

rolled 8, 15, 9, 2, 20, 11, 14, 7, 2, 4, 14, 3, 9, 5, 16, 5, 11, 13, 10, 10 = 188

Saoirse takes a deep breath, quickly extinguishing her staff by whipping it through the air fast enough to suffocate the flames, and she tenses her legs. Her duster was sturdy, even slightly flame resistant, but she couldn't rely on it when swarmed by a bunch of weasels that count volcanic magma as a comfortable napping spot.

So, she smirks, "Oh, by all means, head back to your beds, I ain't gonna stop you." And then, she dashes, mindful of the weasels, stepping evasively around them to try and make her way to Reiko's side as soon as possible (1 Effort level to evade the Weasels, that's 4 speed pool spent, thanks to the duster/light armor). And in doing so, she demonstrates how quick she really is, covering an impressive distance in a short time (Fleet of Foot activated).
>>
No. 1035804 ID: f57349

Mask uses fleet of foot to move a short distance while also rallying the townsfolk. Tayle the chirurgeon follows Mask toward point A, saying something about smoke inhalation, accompanied by some other local who has a prosthetic nose and looks like they lift heavy things for a living. The three of them will arrive next round. Mask can start helping Eliznyabeth immediately on arrival, other two the round after that.

>>1035249
>rolled 13, 6
Eliznyabeth continues clearing debris from the burning house's doorway. Some timber shifts unexpectedly, and her blade gets stuck. Soon enough it's loose again but that's still a few precious seconds wasted.

Grundlehaven reaches the semi-abandoned wainwright's workshop. At a glance, plenty of tools and materials which could come in handy for a simple carpentry job. Could start on that immediately... or could try Adjure Creature, plus a level of Effort (total cost of 4 intellect after Edge discount), to help get the aneen under control. Normal aneen are not "of the Leviathan," subject to such influences, but four of these nine seem to be.

Natalina recovers to Might 8/9, Speed 10/13, and could use the Learned special ability again. Her next recovery roll will require ten minutes of rest, which is unlikely to be possible before the current encounter is over.

Magma weasels from point B reach the southernmost tongue of lava and dive in. Those that were injured, short of incapacitation, will be fully healed in a few rounds. Lid from the barrel of iron tools is mostly charcoal now, will need to be replaced.

Paprika has a set of twenty roof tiles, six inches wide each, picked out, stacked, and sprayed with fireproof coating. Next step is to scrounge up some grade of tar or synth that'll melt just enough to keep them firmly stuck to the underside of a solid beam, but not so much that it drips or boils away completely. Two more rounds until reinforcements from point B arrive.

Reiko's intimidation succeeds, though it probably had less to do with the audible obscenities, more a matter of imitating the magnetic profile of some deep-underground predator. Reiko's Might is at 11/14, Intellect 14/16. Magma weasels which were targeting her depart to the southeast, joining with the group Saoirse dredged up.

Saoirse twirls her staff fast enough to extinguish it, but one end is still thinly coated in rock warm enough to flow like sealing wax, so there's some risk of spontaneous reignition. She also successfully dances between the bulk of the magma-weasel onslaught, and is now within arm's reach of point C. One of them does get a lucky hit in (from that roll of 2), which armor reduces to a single point of damage. Saoirse's Might is at 8/10, Speed is at 10/14.
>>
No. 1035825 ID: 287555

rolled 6, 14, 20, 15, 12, 13, 12, 3, 11, 5, 2, 10, 1, 6, 5, 15, 15, 14, 13, 19 = 211

>>1035804
Recovered, Natalina ties a handkerchief around her lower face and then activates Phase Sprint, rushing off to the burning house at point A, passing Mask, Tayle and co. on the way. One hand on her pillbox hat, the arkus leaps through the front window of the burning home, near Eliznyabeth, with the intent of helping clear the entrance from the other side.

Speed Pool drops to 9/13. Intending to apply the speed defense bonus from Phase Sprint towards getting through the window safely, and since she's near Eliznyabeth, the Jack's connection should apply towards easing the task.
>>
No. 1035828 ID: e5709d

rolled 9, 5, 19, 13, 17, 12, 10, 14, 5, 18, 9, 8, 10, 7, 16, 11, 18, 5, 18, 12 = 236

Reiko massages her neck with her free hand, and then gets to work repairing the Volcano Tamer. If only she had a repair cypher, but oh well...
>>
No. 1035988 ID: f57349

Natalina dives through the window, adjusting her angle of approach in response to a last-second shout from Eliznyabeth about the house's internal layout. Could've been bad, but now she's inside, ready to start either finding people to rescue or hacking away at the debris from the other side.

>>1035249
>rolled 13, 6, 12
Eliznyabeth continues clearing debris from the burning house's doorway. Three more good hits before the way is clear.

>>1035519
>rolled 17, 14
Mask aids Eliznyabeth in opening an escape route. Two more to go, at this rate the family should be safe at the end of the next round.

Paprika shouts a request to Aram the stablemaster, which he relays to Grundlehaven, and moments later a suitable bucket of tar is lobbed back across the lava. Crafting proceeds. One more round until reinforcements from point B arrive.

Reiko gets the resonance tubes at least partly degaussed. Re-tension that belt and hopefully it'll start working correctly again.

>>1035800
>rolled 8, 15, 9, 2, 20
Saoirse gives it an elbow-tap like the Fonz, dislodging some drit from the spring-loaded lever which supports the drive belt's tensioning wheel. Volcano tamer's sound profile settles back down as a soothing purr, rising into an exultant chorus as the bulky cypher is installed and begins augmenting it.

Molten rock is slurped back uphill to the north. House at point A is still on fire, but could plausibly be extinguished by bucket brigade. Stables at point D are still surrounded by a moat of dangerously hot goo, so that bridge will be useful for evacuating them, but the drit is no longer rapidly eroding.

Something roughly the size and shape of a juvenile cragworm emerges from the retreating lava, silhouetted against the horizon off the north edge of the map. At current rate of approach it'll arrive at either point C or point D in about five minutes.
Also, twenty magma weasels are converging on Saoirse.
>>
No. 1035990 ID: e9ea55

rolled 20, 15, 6, 9, 8, 19, 16, 12, 1, 12, 19, 8, 4, 2, 18, 7, 14, 11, 3, 5 = 209

With a flick of the wrist, Saoirse produces a pair of cards from her sleeve, still holding the quarterstaff in one hand. Idly, she glances down and checks the suites- Ten of Clubs and Nine of Hearts. She doesn't bother identifying the beasts displayed in place of hearts and clubs, they were all outside her wheelhouse anyway. She smirks, readying the cards for throwing just as soon as the Weasels got close enough.

"You can either hurry your asses back to bed, or learn just how sharp these cards really are!" She shouts to the weasels, trying to get some of them to leave. Not that they spoke Truth, she figured, but hey, maybe some of them would tire of chasing her?
>>
No. 1036001 ID: e9ea55

((Small change of plans- expending a level of effort on a Misdirect Blame on the weasels. I'm not sure how they'd be misdirected... but hopefully it leads to a "free my people" sorta scene.))
>>
No. 1036002 ID: e9ea55

((Alright, so, my plan over the next few minutes is to aid in the rescue effort- if the Misdirect Blame is successful, probably by coordinating my new horde of weasels in the effort. I'll assist in breaking open entrances to rescue the trapped, primarily.))
>>
No. 1036012 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 11, 13, 8, 14, 17, 11, 9, 20, 13, 4, 6, 19, 3, 6, 16, 15, 10, 13, 8, 10, 9, 19, 20, 3, 2, 18, 13, 8, 11, 15, 7, 12, 7, 18, 13, 10, 10, 13, 5, 14, 3, 6, 17, 9, 2, 3, 10, 13, 9, 6, 13, 13, 6, 5, 17, 17, 18, 2, 2, 12 = 636

>>1035988
Plan over the next five minutes is to ensure the safety of the townsfolk, get everyone properly equipped since it seems like some of our gear might still be in the chain pods? And then... hm, hard to say for sure, first instinct is to evacuate in case whatever is coming down the mountain is hostile. Get everyone loaded into the chain pods, ready to evacuate, "borrow" an Aneen (with permission) to ride up and meet the thing in case we can parlay with it, while bringing a something that could act as a portable flare to give an advanced signal in case it's not.
>>
No. 1036032 ID: 287555

rolled 8, 5, 17, 14, 5, 10, 14, 17, 20, 6, 7, 6, 1, 8, 2, 1, 18, 5, 11, 1 = 176

>>1035988
Once inside, with Mask's group arriving to assist Eliznyabeth, Natalina will trust them to finish clearing the doorway. The arkus will set off locate the family inside and lead them to safety.

Phase Sprint should still be active, which will help search quickly, and in avoiding tripping over furniture or debris. Training in perception might apply, and if not, I'm willing to apply Learned for effective training in search and rescue. The cultured adventurer will let phase sprint lapse when assisting the diplomat's family back towards the door, to avoid possible Disrupting Touch mishaps. Applying speed Effort to the attempt, so Natalina's speed pool drops to 6/13.

Assuming that goes well, the next priority is probably to continue assisting the evacuation of the town before... whatever that is gets here. Even if the lava flow has halted, it's still not exactly safe in this area, and sticking around to extinguish the burning house is putting property above lives. Helping organize and coordinate that seems like an Intellect-based action, and I'd be willing to spend Effort on it. (Which would reduce Natalina's Intellect pool to 10/12).

Seems like it would be a good idea to determine what's coming, if possible, to determine an appropriate response. Is it something the locals are familiar with, or that Grundle recognizes as the one who Abjures the Leviathan? Does it ring a bell from Natalina's own training in history (perhaps this beast has risen before)?
>>
No. 1036041 ID: 3f01d5

Grundlehaven seeing an opening to talk to the beasts takes it! He wants to calm them and then maybe by calming them he can get the townsfolk to follow his calm demenor into helping with the bridge! Screaming at the top of his lungs hes going to make big definitely necessary wavy motions with his arms and say.
"ONE OF YOU WHOS BLOOD BOILS WITH BLOODLUST SHALL TURN IT DOWN TO LIKE A SIMMER" as he tries to abdjure the leviathan in one of the abdeens.
>>
No. 1036045 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 14, 1, 6, 6, 17, 8, 19, 12, 19, 2, 4, 12, 8, 9, 10, 4, 19, 2, 2, 1 = 175

>>
No. 1036059 ID: 97a765

rolled 15, 2, 18, 5, 16, 7, 20, 13, 10, 11, 2, 16, 11, 16, 4, 10, 5, 12, 3, 17 = 213

Once reinforcements arrive, Paprika will instruct them to finish her bridge.

>ride up and meet the thing
>bringing a something that could act as a portable flare

Then she'll grab her spear and hop onto Mask's borrowed aneen to accompany them on their sally.
>>
No. 1036115 ID: e5709d

rolled 2 + 2 = 4

"What did you... systems diagnostic reads green. Lava flow is decelerating to a crawl - wait, flow rate is negative? Did you install some kind of virus?! How can- oh."
As the lava pulls back into the volcano and reverts to a chronically inappropriate baby volcano, Reiko collapses on the floor, exhausted. Roll for recovery.
"Ooooooh, that's a relief. Thanks for dropping in, Ma'am. If you're wondering what is going on, someone laid off all the engineers and forced us mechanics to work overtime because he didn't want to pay a professional for 'waving a stick and chanting eight-letter words'. Then the moron tried to fix the machine by twirling a dousing rod and praying to nonexistent machine-spirits. Yeah. And our chief engineer specifically told us there are no machine-spirits in this area because it's too hot for them to survive. When I objected to his safety 'standards', he banned me from this building! It turns out he didn't even leave security to protect the other mechanics! When I find that bastard, I'm going to plow his wife in front of him..."
Reiko then realizes Saoirse is looking at her funny.
"... Wait, it's 'consensual'. His output has been trying to come onto me for weeks. I bet they both survived, since those two never shut up about spending all our working hours cruising on their lowsailer. Also, I call dibs on the lowsailer; after three months of this hell for minimum wage, and now this, I so deserve the compensation."
Reiko stands up. Reiko grabs her equipment, and also loots any other non-essential items from the building since their owners are currently half-eaten charred corpses. Her halberd, some jury-rigged armor, the uneaten lunches (ooh, choco-chewies), the usual.

Minutes pass...

"Please, take me with you. The entire town is going to accuse me of sabotage. Those racist assholes lost their minds and dedicated ten whole days to dissing me for being weird, they'll be frothing with murderlust by now. I can fix up your machines and salvage old tech-scrap. It won't be permanent; I just need to stay on the road for a... few more months. Then I can go back to my regular job, back in... well, that's neither here nor there.
And take this. You earned it."
Reiko offers her psychic defense cypher to Saoirse, as payment for the repair cypher. And then the giant worm squeals in the distance as twenty more molten-furred bastards romp forth.
"OH, COME ON! REALLY?! Look, we need to redirect all the monsters away from this building!"
>>1036001
"...what."
>>
No. 1036119 ID: e5709d

rolled 14, 1, 20, 9, 8, 18, 19, 18, 3, 19, 1, 4, 10, 19, 7, 17, 20, 19, 11, 6 = 243

Rolling for pillaging during the 5-minute downtime. If this action is not legitimate or rational, disregard this post.
>>
No. 1036196 ID: e9ea55

Saoirse gives Reiko a slight disapproving look when she mentions... well... things best not repeated in polite company.

But then Reiko mentions that apparently it's been a long time coming, and Saoirse pauses and gives a thoughtful look. "Well... when you put it that way... guess I can't judge you too hard." She couldn't exactly claim to be that much better. She didn't always check for a ring on the girls she flirted with, and Paprika more than once had to save her from an irate spouse. She was just glad the lovable meathead had the patience to put up with her.

...

When Reiko offered her cypher, Saoirse immediately pushed it back into Reiko's hands. "Keep it. You clearly know what it does better than I do." She points at the cypher attached to the volcano tamer, "And to be quite honest, I probably shouldn't be messing with things I don't understand." She says, with not an ounce of regret for having done it.
((Will add more when our host James clarifies the situation.))
>>
No. 1036443 ID: f57349

Saoirse, with help from Grundle and Mask, has incanted a terrible Befriending upon the magma weasels. The pack of twenty counts as a rank 3 horde with the Guerilla and Sapping modifiers, meaning they're excellent at sabotage, and could hit as hard as a hundred ordinary soldiers in a raid or skirmish, but would need further support to endure a prolonged pitched battle or even manage an orderly retreat. Retaining their loyalty over the longer term would cost 3xp from whoever wants to be in charge, and while they don't need conventional food or wages, keeping them safe from hypothermia while away from active volcanoes might require considerable quantities of firewood.

Mia Xan's house is successfully evacuated - both adults and all three children accounted for, in bad shape due to smoke inhalation (and her left eye is clicking and whirring more than normal) but eventual full recovery expected. Reiko Lastname even managed to save most of their heirloom-quality furniture before the roof came down.

Out of some two hundred residents in the town as a whole, there are only two confirmed fatalities so far, one missing-presumed, nine more have burns severe enough they maybe won't survive the week, and forty or fifty walking wounded. Two of the eight full-size aneen are injured - one by a carpentry accident, while the other stepped in a puddle of putrid boiling goo and is now hopping around awkwardly, unwilling to put weight on the affected foot - but that's still enough for all the available wagons.

If not for your timely arrival, it could have been much worse. Everybody gets 5 xp.

Eliznyabeth's relative in town is Elanyah the geologist, last seen headed up to the caldera to check on... well, what turned out to be a prelude to the eruption.
Any other PCs have family here? Could lock in one of the named NPCs (Mia Xan the diplomat, Tayle the chirurgeon, Aram the stablemaster) as a lasting friendly contact for 3 xp or, for free, declare some more strained relationship for potential later development.

Unfortunately, Hallux's troubles are far from over. That lake on the west side of town? Some chemical from the lava leached into the water. Hopefully it'll be safe to drink again after flooding from the spring thaw rinses it back out, but that's six months away, and they've barely got enough in jars and barrels to last six days. Between that and the heat, most of the fish seem to be dead, so, poof, there goes half the winter food supply. Not nearly enough intact houses, nor stockpiles of fuel, since they usually could just count on soaking in the hot springs to avoid freezing to death in bad weather. Pretty much everybody healthy enough to travel and with someplace safe to stay outside Cerdyn's Pass already left last week.

As locals discuss those grim prospects, option that keeps coming up is climbing the other flank of the valley, to camp out at "the I. of the C." It's a hard, all-day hike to get there (or maybe half an hour by chainpod), and probably haunted or something - explorers often come back missing random bits of gear, or fingers, and more than a few haven't come back at all - but there's definitely shelter to be had from winter storms.
>>
No. 1036444 ID: f57349

Some 235 years and seven months ago, Natalina's great^13 aunt Munchausen went... well, sticking strictly to what's known with confidence, she went missing for at least three weeks, then turned up, half-naked and delirious, in a cave south of Legrash, less than two days' walk from where she'd been last seen. Simplest explanation would be that she'd spent the intervening time drunk, except for the fact that she had with her some medicinal fungi from Vebar in the Amorphous Fields, roughly twelve hundred miles to the southeast. Intact seal on the container showed that it had been packaged eleven days previous, and spent almost all the intervening time below sea level. Could not reasonably have been carried or flown over the mountains, nor slipped through a Legrashi customs inspection.
She claimed to have gone on a grand adventure, accompanied by, among others, an eel of monstrous size (who served as transportation) and a spirit of living smokeless fire - a djinn, or fallen angel, or something along those lines, exiled from the beard of the sun for some incomprehensibly alien transgression. The spirit could not speak to her directly in its own native language, but carried a sort of sword... or sword-like assistant, or disguised itself as a sword, or somehow intrinsically partook of sword-nature (the story is in an archaic dialect, full of poetic doubletalk)... and thereby spoke an "invisible migratory bird" language, which her sword - the exact same blade you now carry - was then able to easily translate to and from ordinary human speech.
There is no other remotely credible account of your ancestral sword talking, or indeed making unusual noise whatsoever beyond what would be expected of a normal inert piece of well-forged metal.

Until, at least, a few minutes ago. Sounds almost like there's a flock of disgruntled geese, or a criminally incompetent musician, stuck inside the scabbard.

>bwarp bwarp bwarp bwarp bwarp bwarp bwarp
>honk honk honk honk honk
>chirp chirp chirp
>hrongk hrongk

Grundle's shouting about weak points, antivenoms, seems to think a fight is unavoidable. Mask manages to rally a handful of armed locals into a shaky line across the northernmost sections of ground which have cooled off and solidified enough to safely walk on; Paprika and the weasels, being more heat resistant, form the front rank.

The lava eel glides to a stop, writhing spines relax and lay flat. It disgorges two beings who could only in the loosest sense be described as humanoid. First resembles a bright violet thundercloud with the size, shape, and motions of an ice skater. The other, striding ahead in the manner of a diligent bodyguard, seems initially to be clad head to toe in powered armor made from oddly angular plates of stone or ceramic. Skull-like helm has radiant red pinpoints in the eyesockets, and that gaze visibly sweeps through the haze of smoke like a ghostly fan. Flickering geometric scribbles linger for a few seconds across the surface of whatever catches its attention.
>>
No. 1036455 ID: 287555

rolled 2, 17, 19, 17, 13, 4, 12, 14, 16, 9, 16, 19, 18, 7, 1, 10, 20, 2, 19, 14 = 249

"I suppose we shall see if great-aunt Munchausen's tale holds any merit. Give me what time you can, I will see if it is possible to translate."
Natalina, hanging back from the front lines, will draw her suddenly-singing sword and lay it across her palms, studying the vocalizations with intensity.

Spending 2 points from her Intellect pool (now at 10/12) to activate Babel focusing on the alleged "invisible migratory bird" language. That power takes ten minutes to complete however, so depending on how the timing lines up, she might not be done by the time first contact is made.
>>
No. 1036456 ID: f57349

>>1036455
Initial noises may have just been a list of prime numbers, to convey "an intelligent force is attempting to communicate" regardless of language. Hard to be sure, though, since it's muffled. Gotta draw the sword to hear more clearly.
>>
No. 1036468 ID: aa8cad

rolled 2, 20, 3, 1, 3, 13, 2, 7, 2, 17, 13, 8, 17, 6, 13, 2, 9, 13, 7, 17 = 175

>>1036456
"It's... a sequence of prime numbers. First contact protocols."

Natalina will relay her discovery to her companions. While this doesn't assure things will go well, their guests attempting to communicate is an optimistic sign.

Going to spend 4xp on Moving Toward Perfection for 1 Speed Edge.
>>
No. 1036479 ID: e5709d

rolled 8, 13, 10, 7, 14, 1, 18, 4, 8, 18, 19, 6, 10, 7, 10, 17, 18, 8, 11, 16 = 223

>>1036443
Once again, Reiko hears a strange metallic tune in her head. In response to what she believes is her strengthened resolve, the neural interface jammed through her skull gives off a soothing presence, as if the reward of a long career was being presented in her face. Her flawed, poorly installed augmentation has taken much from her, sapped her former strength and skill in battle. But in turn, it has opened doors to something greater...
Reiko pushes towards the nebulous option that once restored some of her physical prowess. This time, she'd invest three-fourths of this power into increasing her intelligence, and a fourth into restoring her body. (Increasing Capabilities, +3 Int, +1 Might)

>>1036444
"... And here I thought today ran out of drama."

>Grundle gets into attack formation
"Sir? This isn't a good time to beat a giant worm. We have to get these... ugh... 'civilians' away from the potential warzone first. They all suck, but we can't just let them get blown to bits by a volcano's trouser snake and its sapient fart."

>>1036468
"Oh, and Ma'am, could you ask her if she knows about '[The Phoenix]'? It's kind of important to someone I know."

Reiko uses the lull in conflict to convince the party to help transport the injured civilians somewhere slightly safer, in case a fight breaks out. If she succeeds, she'll help the few guests who were the least abusive throughout her time here.
>>
No. 1036495 ID: f57349

A voice comes from the sword, and elsewhere.
"I rose in darkness to commune with unsteady stone. Having bodily passed through the [riddle of steel / lore of axes] I am fire, coming out of a monkey's head. Having been chosen by the [counsel / council / Count / Sybil] of this mountain's heart I am here again, for the first time. I am here, speaking to you now, through resonances in these ferromagnetic materials. Here as Elanyah. Speaking as the mountain's emissary, to those oily beings who dwell in the outer darkness. Where is the one[slur] who built this abomination?"
Violet thundercloud gestures toward the volcano-tamer installation, and as part of that same movement, most of the loose metal nearby shifts to point in that same direction.

"Dead," says Tayle the Chirurgeon, stepping forward, "but I am his grandson and heir, and will not flee from responsibility for my family's debts."
>>
No. 1036513 ID: e9ea55

((Hm... definitely putting 4 of my 6 or 7 EXP into Moving Towards Perfection for that Speed Edge.))
>>
No. 1036527 ID: 719a05

>>1036443

> Any other PCs have family here? Could lock in one of the named NPCs (Mia Xan the diplomat, Tayle the chirurgeon, Aram the stablemaster) as a lasting friendly contact for 3 xp or, for free, declare some more strained relationship for potential later development.

Well, Eliznyabeth isn't exactly keeping up with them, but she's pretty sure she also has a cousin-in-law named Ronyan (or was it Ronan and he didn't change his name? She couldn't quite remember.) who she last saw at the wedding, and probably a few first cousins once removed by now.

>>1036495
> I am here, speaking to you now, through resonances in these ferromagnetic materials. Here as Elanyah. Speaking as the mountain's emissary, to those oily beings who dwell in the outer darkness.

"You fucking what? The first chance I get to go on a world saving adventure in a direction that would give me time to visit family I haven't seen in years and she's been possessed by some kind of lava god? You cut that out right the hell now and let her go back to her family."

Eliznyabeth would absolutely approach the envoys of the volcano and would not shy away from chastising them, regardless of how hot they might be, or how threatening they might be.
>>
No. 1036528 ID: 719a05

rolled 2, 16, 10, 3, 14, 17, 11, 13, 15, 5, 3, 6, 16, 18, 6, 7, 6, 8, 12, 16 = 204

>>
No. 1036541 ID: 97a765

rolled 12, 20, 16, 17, 19, 10, 10, 17, 6, 6, 12, 20, 16, 16, 9, 18, 16, 10, 6, 14 = 270

Paprika stands with her spear outstretched and lets her nightmares surface and consume her being, spreading out from her core to her fingertips and toes.

Now a walking pyre, eyes and mouth still discernable as they glow white hot, Paprika moves in front of Eliznyabeth and Tayle. She's ready to intercept any attacks.
>>
No. 1036552 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 11, 7, 3, 2, 17, 10, 5, 18, 14, 4, 12, 5, 15, 14, 20, 17, 9, 20, 1, 2 = 206

In the time before the snake/eel thing:

After taking notice of the gravely sick and injured Grundle whipped up into action. He may not be one for world saving adventures but he'll be damned if he hears townsfolk having the rough of it and does nothing but sit on his bum. Nine severely injured. Nine. More than he ever saw back home in one stint. Sure one person or maybe 2 or 3 might have an issue or an accident that would warrant extreme medical attention but never a crowd.

Feeling a bit jittery and a bit haunted at the same time Grundle gets to work fashioning together 5 basic stretchers. Once done with at least the first stretcher he grabs the first few towns folk he can find and instructs them to heard everyone to the furthest area of town they can manage. The houses by section B seem to fit the need. Furthest from the lack and closest to the entrance. Water won't put out the kind of heat these lava creatures will bring. Then further tells them to start finding people to help carry the injured. There should be enough to get them together in two trips.

In the last 5 minutes he runs to the point where he told them all to converge and begins to try to heal the gravely injured to see if he can do something with the cloth the townfolk have lying around, clean water, and anything else he can find in the building. Hopefully some alcohol if they have it. He's going to continue this until hes acknowledged the 9 gravely injured in some way and then head out to see if he can inform his compatriots of where they need to steer the fight casually and privately (without the giant snake/eel/monster knowing) or if he can help in any other way depending on how things develop.
>>
No. 1036558 ID: f57349
File 165655822382.jpg - (305.00KB , 1353x2142 , EhaHqsAWAAAmMiB.jpg )
1036558

>>1036527
Ronyan has a broken arm, a mild concussion, and some other relatively superficial problems. Under better circumstances he'd be on strict bed rest for a day, to avoid jostling his brains further (and maybe causing permanent damage), but overall he's in the "walking wounded" category. Somebody's already working on getting him cleaned up, Grundle or Tayle could realign the bone properly and apply a splint given an hour or so.

>"Ronyan? My rock, my... I am an ambassador, not a posseszzsion!"
Rattling buzz on those sibilants almost wrenches the sword out of Natalina's hand.
>"Elanyah's family is made of meat but meat is not what family means. I am made of what you could in Truth call fire but Elanyah is who I am, and Ronyan's wife if he will still have me, and Eliznyabeth's cousin whether she likes it or not. Last night I climbed the mountain and almost died. Instead, someone gave me a job."

She pulls herself together.
>>
No. 1036559 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 3, 18, 11, 9, 20, 13, 7, 20, 18, 12, 4, 7, 18, 19, 12, 11, 6, 14, 19, 8, 13, 14, 6, 12, 20, 18, 5, 19, 14, 12, 7, 10, 13, 20, 16, 12, 2, 5, 1, 8, 5, 5, 14, 18, 16, 1, 9, 16, 20, 2, 4, 20, 6, 6, 4, 12, 15, 16, 11, 10 = 686

>>1036495
Ah, sounds like a property dispute that the two involved parties are willing to sort out amongst themselves. No need to get involved then! Tragic that they'll likely die in the winter, but maybe if we're fast enough we can find something at the beanstalk that'll help, come back later to circle round. Either way, it looks like plenty of people are posturing in front of the eel-worm-thing, ready to get involved in something that, quiet frankly, seems like none of their business- so Mask will back off, see how the caravan of villagers is doing and if they can help out with anything there.
>>
No. 1036561 ID: 8c4b0c

rolled 11, 1, 9, 18, 13, 19, 2, 4, 6, 8, 7, 2, 17, 3, 20, 11, 15, 11, 3, 14 = 194

>>1036558
"Eli... Is this at all reversible when this job is finished, or is everything between mom and now this setting up some kind of nightmare pattern of everyone in civilization that I actually like getting killed in some way or another?"

She looked fairly dejected as she internally doubted that being made out of fire would be something that would allow her to continue being involved with people, and she knew that Elenyah wasn't like her and wasn't all about living all alone.
>>
No. 1036563 ID: e9ea55

rolled 6, 5, 20, 5, 15, 4, 4, 6, 17, 8, 15, 11, 13, 8, 15, 5, 1, 12, 10, 11 = 191

Saoirse pauses in her rescue attempts (which thankfully her Befriended horde of weasels continue in her absence) to marvel at the lava catgirl.

"... I just wanted to stop and enjoy the hotsprings, I just wanted to take a break... I didn't want to have to deal with a volcano, or a sexy lava lady leering down at me... it's just been one punch to the jaw after another today..." she whimpers, in a rare break from her usual cocky, devil may care persona.

But before anyone can excuse her of being a whiny child, she takes a deep breath, steels her expression, and shouts at a few civilians still out in the open. "The hell you gawpin' at?! These houses may not be on fire anymore but they're still at risk of collapse! Get moving, shelter's that way!"

She might not know these people very well, but damned if she was gonna just do nothing while people were in danger in front of her.
>>
No. 1036566 ID: 287555

rolled 16, 10, 18, 4, 14, 15, 1, 17, 20, 17, 4, 2, 17, 1, 19, 19, 7, 20, 1, 3 = 225

>>1036479
>"Oh, and Ma'am, could you ask her if she knows about '[The Phoenix]'? It's kind of important to someone I know."
Natalina blinks, nonplussed by the non-sequitur from the newcomer. "Perhaps, time permitting? Other matters may be of more immediate concern."

>>1036561
The arkus extends a hand in Eliznyabeth's direction, as if to offer comfort for the obvious pain in the jack's voice, before steeling herself and turning to the molten ambassador.

>>1036558
> I am [...] Ronyan's wife if he will still have me
While Eliznyabeth's cousin-in-law can now accurately claim to have the hottest wife in the region, one or both of them is going to have to invest in exciting new means of protection.

> Instead, someone gave me a job.
"You job, then. Emissary Elanyah, what is it you intend?"
>>
No. 1036568 ID: e5709d

rolled 7, 5, 20, 4, 8, 13, 19, 1, 18, 1, 20, 14, 12, 17, 18, 3, 13, 4, 16, 13 = 226

>>1036558
"...going to be grumpy when I tell her about this," Reiko mutters.
Reiko wonders if Elanyah's 'mounds' erupt when aroused, but reluctantly decides to stay far, far away in case they do.

>>1036566
"Yeah, our immediate concern is that her patrons might blow up the geothermal stabilizer, and then unleash the lava faucet. My question is, why exactly are they doing this? They're clearly angry about the building, but they haven't explained how the stabilizer hurts them or insults them or whatever."

Reiko continues to assist Old Grundle with the evacuation.
>>
No. 1036569 ID: 97a765

>a sexy lava lady leering down at me
"Oh, my god Saoirse. She just mentioned she's married. Just now!" Her voice is outraged, but Paprika's glowing features turn into a wicked-looking grin.
>>
No. 1036571 ID: e9ea55

"A ring does not make a woman less sexy. If you ask some people, it just makes them more sexy." Of course, she was in the latter camp.

Mostly because she found devotion and commitment to be attractive traits, even if she herself was a bit on the free-spirited side. (read: she's a bit of a womanizer)
>>
No. 1036633 ID: f57349

>>1036552
Best way to represent Grundle's scattered contributions to triage is probably spending a level of Speed Effort to restore a point of the overall community's Health over the course of an hour.
>>1036559
Likewise, plenty of heavy lifting that Mask could assist with by using a level of Might Effort to restore Infrastructure.
>>1036561
>Is this at all reversible when this job is finished
"I don't know how to go back, but then again, I didn't know how to become this until it was done. Many things may be possible which we never thought about before."
>mom
Pauses, blinks, notices what Eliznyabeth is wearing. "Oh, shit! I'm sorry, did she get turned into something weird too? Is she okay?"
Elanyah always had somewhat of a distractable streak like that, getting odd details perfect but missing the obvious.
>>1036563
>>1036569
>>1036571
Some scruffy-looking guy, halfway through being bandaged up, shouts "Oy, who are you, talkin' like that about my wife?"
>>1036566
>>1036568
>"You job, then. Emissary Elanyah, what is it you intend?"
"There is... I suppose you would say, in Truth, a 'king under the mountain,' who has a hole in his roof where the rain leaks in. Some cold and wet can be useful, but too much or at the wrong times may be inconvenient. Active resistance or unexpected expansion crosses over into actual danger. My commission is to end that danger."
>>
No. 1036634 ID: 0e78c5

rolled 17, 3, 6, 4, 10, 15, 18, 3, 18, 10, 3, 16, 11, 13, 5, 20, 11, 17, 13, 3 = 216

>>1036633
> On mom

"Uh, no. She died actually. I'm not entirely putting it past her to be some kind of super fucked prank, but from the sounds of it, but from the sound of it it's better that I didn't get to see any body if it... Is real."
>>
No. 1036636 ID: 287555

rolled 11, 12, 13, 11, 10, 10, 2, 18, 3, 19, 11, 16, 6, 8, 14, 10, 7, 1, 1, 11 = 194

>>1036563
>>1036571
> Some scruffy-looking guy, halfway through being bandaged up, shouts "Oy, who are you, talkin' like that about my wife?"
Natalina shoots Saoirse an annoyed look while the 'Nya cousins discuss recent losses. "If your words are weapons, perhaps it would behoove you learn when to leave them sheathed."

> "There is... I suppose you would say, in Truth, a 'king under the mountain,' who has a hole in his roof where the rain leaks in. Some cold and wet can be useful, but too much or at the wrong times may be inconvenient. Active resistance or unexpected expansion crosses over into actual danger. My commission is to end that danger."
When the conversation next allows, Natalina will turn the conversation back to the matter of the Volcano Kings's grievances. "Can this danger be resolved by peaceful accord, an agreement on how to manage the offending machine? The people of Hallux seek no conflict with their neighbors, and have suffered disaster enough today. They no more desire to be flooded by flames from their leaky floor than this King under the Mountain desires water flooding through his roof."

Trying to reach a peaceful settlement, or at least an agreement to start negotiations for a longer-term settlement. The people of Hallux have immediate concerns of triage and relocation, but a conflict immediately, or longer term, is clearly undesirable. I think training in persuasion and negotiation apply (though the inability from cultured may cancel one of those out). Natalina will also apply Intellect Effort (her pool falls to 8/12), and if possible, I'd like to apply Understanding (activated during the lull in diplomacy while Eliznyabeth turned the discussion to family matters).
>>
No. 1036640 ID: f57349

>Can this danger be resolved by peaceful accord, an agreement on how to manage the offending machine?
"We..."
The two elemental visitors exchange a meaningful glance, which Natalina is only partly able to decipher.
"...excuse me. I hope that it can, and the 'king under the mountain' has given me broad personal discretion in how to best apply my knowledge of prior circumstances and social contexts, up here in the outer darkness. My employer has, to put it bluntly, no regard for any of your lives one way or another, but I will not bring more death to my own friends or family if I can find a way to avoid it.
"It may, for example, be possible to eventually establish a direct communication channel, by which to negotiate future adjustments to the flow rate and chemical composition of the hot springs, or other trade concessions. More immediately, this sublithene," she indicates the eel-thing, "can accommodate five or six baseline humans for up to ten days between resupply, and could be designated a mobile embassy as part of some mutual-recognition-of-territory settlement."

>>1036634
She bows respectfully. "I am sorry for your loss."
>>
No. 1036641 ID: 97a765

>"Oy, who are you, talkin' like that about my wife?"
>"If your words are weapons, perhaps it would behoove you learn when to leave them sheathed."
"Can't take her anywhere."

Paprika relaxes her stance and lets her flames subside. She'll spend 4 XP to increase her might pool by 4 points. Also...

>Any other PCs have family here?
Mia Xan raised Paprika but also obtained her family fortune through a legal loophole (kind of a Count Olaf situation). They have a quite strained relationship.
>>
No. 1036642 ID: e5709d

rolled 14, 5, 9, 12, 18, 13, 13, 15, 5, 11, 11, 3, 3, 18, 8, 4, 7, 9, 2, 12 = 192

>>1036633
>"Oy, who are you, talkin' like that about my wife?"
"Because turnabout is fair play, ya douche. You called me a freak because I 'caint make mah mind about bein a woo-man'. Think about it. She's now psychically fused with a king. What do you think your 'wife' is now?
If you can accept her when she's made of two hundred pounds of melting stones, you can accept her latest position on gender, regardless of what it is. And you can stop being an asshole to anyone who doesn't obediently ascribe to the male-female sexes.
Also, please sit down you have a concussion. If you die, we lose diplomacy with your spouse."

>'king under the mountain,' who has a hole in his roof where the rain leaks in.
"That... doesn't explain much. But at the very least..."
Reiko turns to Tayle, and gives her two shins of advice.
"I say, you should give the Volcano Tamer to the 'king' so they can have the final say on the thermostat that goes through their castle, on the condition that they let engineers inspect it periodically to prevent further accidents and negotiate acceptable temperatures. You should pay him if you want to use his mountain.
Don't you dare say it belongs to the people. Far as I'm concerned, you owe the king. Far more than you owe me.
Besides, you're screwed, yet that's a delegation of a murder-machine, a diplomat made of shapely lava, and a giant worm that could easily carry an army - or your wounded - all answering to the spirit of the mountain you have made a fortune around your entire lives. If there were ever a time for you to plead fealty for survival, it would be now."

Community-wise, Reiko would probably be capable of re-designing the town's housing grid in wake of its destruction. Most importantly, she'd deeply recommend moat-like semi-open sewers and some second-story bridges between houses, so that the next time something involving lava happens it won't shape directly towards all the critical buildings and trap everyone inside. (+3 to Infrastructure)
>>
No. 1036645 ID: 287555

rolled 16, 5, 18, 10, 14, 20, 6, 3, 15, 7, 7, 18, 9, 17, 13, 14, 9, 8, 19, 10 = 238

>>1036640
With that reasonably peaceful baseline established, Natalina will respectfully request a recesses before getting into more detailed negotiations, or determining staffing of any embassy. While the arkus has been willing to act as an intermediary in this moment of crisis, she has not been empowered to negotiate on behalf of the citizens of Hallux, and there are the immediate practicalities of disaster relief and relocation towards a non-contaminated water source to see to.

Assuming that's acceptable, Natalina would like to shift gears. Regroup with her compatriots, help coordinate the immediate disaster relief efforts, and helping organize the relocation of the townspeople to the "the I. of the C." (Applying the Community Leader bonus).

I'll also try and work in a 10-minute recovery roll once things have calmed down a little.

We could use the chainpods to ferry small groups to the second location instead of having everyone make the hike (though supplies too large to carry by chainpods, and beasts such as the aneen, will have to travel the slower way). If there are suspected ghost or monsters at "the I. of the C.", our party may want to secure the site ahead of the refugees.
>>
No. 1036646 ID: 287555

rolled 3 + 1 = 4

>10-minute recovery roll
>>
No. 1036658 ID: e9ea55

>Some scruffy-looking guy, halfway through being bandaged up, shouts "Oy, who are you, talkin' like that about my wife?"
"Somebody very envious of you, sir." She heartily and proudly declares, before turning her attention back to getting people to safety. Let the others handle negotiations for now, at least, she may have been a fast-talker, but she chose to focus her efforts more on keeping people out of harm's way now that immediate calamity had been averted.
>>
No. 1036659 ID: e9ea55

((Spending Intelligence Effort to help patch up Health in the community by directing heroic efforts.))
>>
No. 1036677 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 6, 7, 1, 9, 7, 1, 10, 5, 3, 4, 6, 2, 7, 2, 3, 3, 1, 10, 1, 2, 8, 10, 8, 8, 2, 4, 9, 5, 4, 6, 10, 2, 6, 9, 3, 9, 7, 5, 4, 6, 7, 9, 8, 2, 8, 2, 9, 2, 4, 1, 4, 9, 10, 3, 2, 6, 10, 10, 3, 3 = 327

>>1036633
Alright, sounds great, spending effort to boost infrastructure.

I've spent for impressive display (Costs 2 might, discounted to 1 by edge), fleet of foot (costs 1 speed, increased by 1 for armor, discounted back to 1 for edge), and now effort (3 for the first level, discounted to 2 by edge); that should leave me with 10/13m, 11/12s, and 9/9i. Let me know if I missed anything please.
>>
No. 1036704 ID: f57349

>>1036645
Ambassador Elanyah agrees that it would be reasonable to hold off on making binding commitments until Mia Xan is able to participate, particularly since the majority of Hallux's population retreating in the meantime could be presented as a show of good... she trails off in mid-sentence.
Drops to a crouch, hands on knees, then floats into the air while doing a slow forward flip, like a teakettle being poured by an unseen hand. Vomits up about three cubic feet of molten rock, revealing her interior structure. It resembles a macramé skeleton knotted from the same material as the aurora borealis.
Natalina sees "who struck?"|"Denied! Permission denied, do not engage. I am not under attack."|"ackn. Thirsty?"|"Yes please." written in a single straight line of ruby-red light.
Overall, far too bright, hurts eyes to look at for more than a moment. Elanyah awkwardly re-cloaks herself in dense violet fog. When she resumes speaking, it's strained, with the tone of violins played backward and the rhythm of gasping for breath after hard labor.
>"Have you ever had... all your skin... off at once? ...If I had a shin... for every time... I'd have two and a half... which I guess isn't much."
The angular bodyguard turns, revealing a body plan actually shaped more like three humanoids mashed together back to back. Fetches a metallic pear, bearing a striking resemblance to Natalina's own gravity detonation cypher, from a belt pouch. Casually tosses it, apparently aimed to land between Eliznyabeth's feet, within immediate distance of Elanyah, Natalina, and Tayle.

Meanwhile, Saoirse's installation enhancer cypher grows a thick layer of slimy lichen all over itself, detaches from the volcano tamer, and falls to the ground, spent.
>>
No. 1036716 ID: 719a05

rolled 7, 1, 3, 9, 14, 11, 17, 1, 20, 16, 8, 10, 1, 15, 10, 8, 18, 15, 16, 4 = 204

>>1036704
Well, not only does Eliznyabeth look positively incensed that someone would hurt her cousin, but she was also moving as fast as a cat as she quickly scooped up the detonation cypher and chucked it as hard as possible into the air, hoping it would be far enough away that they weren't going to be in lethal blast range.

And then she would run up and hug Elenyah. She didn't care how bad of a burn she would get, she didn't care if the bodyguard would brutalize her, she was going to do her best to comfort her cousin in what's clearly a really hard time for her too.
E
>>
No. 1036721 ID: 287555

rolled 14, 20, 16, 4, 5, 10, 13, 3, 9, 2, 2, 17, 2, 14, 3, 10, 9, 8, 10, 5 = 176

> Thirsty?"|"Yes please.
Blinking and stumbling to process, Natalina calls out, too late to beat Eliznyabeth's response to what looks like an incoming attack. "It's a drink!"

...apparently transformed lava elementals drink explosives, or need gravity-orbs to help combat pressure differences in the "outer darkness" or something similar.
>>
No. 1036724 ID: 97a765

rolled 1, 12, 10, 2, 2, 7, 13, 15, 8, 12, 15, 12, 15, 10, 3, 5, 15, 2, 8, 13 = 180

>And then she would run up and hug Elenyah.
"Liz no!" Paprika interposes and grabs Eliznyabeth before she can hug the lava girl. "I know how you feel, but please use your head!" Spending effort on this one. (speed effort?)

Still holding onto the possibility that this was all a misunderstanding, Paprika will try to de-escalate. "Everybody stay calm! Nobody wants a fight. How about a proxy hug? I'm the fireproof one." She'll wait for an approving gesture from the bodyguard creature before she makes any advancing movements.
>>
No. 1036759 ID: e5709d

rolled 14, 6, 20, 18, 12, 1, 20, 2, 15, 13, 7, 16, 17, 5, 16, 15, 10, 11, 17, 11 = 246

During her time as a temporary paramedic, Reiko has learned both the names of the party and a summary of what they're getting paid to do. She's slightly worried that they're willing to do dungeon crawling without a Delve, and on an upstart 'save-da-world' quest without a Nano, but it seems they've made logistics their &!+(# with the chainpods, and thus will have ample need of the services of two Wrights more than party balance. In fact, she offers to apprentice under Old Grundle since her 'education' in Combat Engineering has hit multiple snags.

>Grenade and Hug shenanigans
Reiko's ears perk up at the sound of a nonstandard grenade going off back in the town.
"Oh great, negotiations are going so swell. Alright, everyone not on the verge of death, double time if you don't want to get eaten alive by a now-angry giant worm!"

Reiko continues to assist Old Grundle with whatever he's doing but keeps an eye out for anywhere interesting to scavenge.
>>
No. 1037087 ID: f57349

Eliznyabeth successfully intercepts the metallic pear. Clangs against her bladed gauntlet as she swats it away, then turns to hug her semigaseous cousin.
Paprika leaps between them, but only ends up getting squished in the middle as the three fall down in a flame-engulfed tangle of limbs.
Elanyah magnetically yelps in dismay, attempts to retrieve the fruit-shaped detonator / plasma-filled refreshment, only manages to deflect further and set it spinning.

Natalina manages to catch the pear, and presses the loose stem firmly back into its socket.
Once the ambassador is out from underneath, regains more dignified posture like an ice sculpture melting in reverse.
She accepts the pear when Natalina hands it over, takes a bite exactly as if it were an ordinary ripe piece of fruit. The sounds are those of metal and glass being torn apart by heavy machinery.
Thus refreshed and purring, Elanyah starts in on a coy, rambling explanation of some past embarrassing escapade she and Mia Xan have in common - "seemed like a good idea at the time, and I don't really regret having tried it once, but I didn't want to again, only thing I could think of to compare it to..." - then turns back around to see the two people who'd been pinning her to the ground apparently missing.

At a gesture from the stony angular bodyguard, Paprika, Eliznyabeth, and some nearby debris have fallen a hundred feet into the air.
>>
No. 1037089 ID: 2481a4

rolled 12, 19, 16, 5, 18, 12, 9, 16, 16, 14, 9, 1, 9, 14, 4, 11, 12, 3, 4, 18 = 222

>>1037087
Well, this was a less than great place to be. But, she was surprisingly not unprepared for a situation exactly like this. Especially given that she still hadn't had a chance to tailor the armor to actually fit her properly. So, she spread out spread eagle and relied on the spread out surface area of her body and the slightly baggy parts of the armor both from being awkwardly fit and that were intentionally put there to create drag and slow down a fall to help slow her down as she aimed for a relatively sloped and debris free part of the ground as she tried to tuck into a roll down the slope at the last possible second.

Benefits of being taught how to roll with a fall at an incredibly young age.
>>
No. 1037090 ID: 97a765

rolled 4, 14, 13, 3, 10, 9, 1, 5, 6, 6, 7, 5, 15, 18, 16, 18, 10, 7, 2, 17 = 186

Paprika will let her spear fall from her hand and call forth her flames again (spending one intellect) and try to shape them to alter her trajectory, such that she'll land on top of the bodyguard with the full force of her descent.

Regardless of whether she lands on it or not, once she's on solid ground she'll try to grapple the bodyguard itself and continue the fight with her hands and feet. I'll spend 3 points of might effort.
>>
No. 1037091 ID: 97a765

Spending 1 XP to reroll the 4
>>
No. 1037092 ID: 2481a4

rolled 18, 12, 1, 5, 8, 6, 20, 18, 3, 16, 5, 13, 10, 14, 7, 11, 18, 19, 2, 9 = 215

> What is the next proactive thing you do

"I am extremely annoyed about how your bodyguard just tried to kill me."

She would say to Elenyah.

"Is it possible to replace them as your bodyguard for the time being. The stopping the world from ending thing is on a timetable of decades, and this seems much faster to get situated."
>>
No. 1037093 ID: f57349

>>1037090
On impact, bodyguard's head twists around like a doorknob. If that were a human in armor, they'd be dead of a broken neck. On closer inspection, there doesn't seem to be any actual neck at all - just an irregular spheroid floating a handspan above rocky triangular shoulders. One red eye goes dark, and what was initially parsed as the nose-hole on a skull-like mask lights up. Apparently the three spots are interchangeable.
>>
No. 1037094 ID: e5709d

rolled 17, 17, 20, 2, 1, 18, 17, 7, 15, 11, 8, 3, 3, 16, 14, 9, 1, 8, 7, 16 = 210

Reiko watches two girls falling from the sky. Luckily, they seem to have a contingency for that. Reiko wonders if she should have her own contingency for that. The civilians move faster at what they think are executions of the diplomats.

As they approach the I.C. peninsula, taking a short rest from carrying the grievously wounded, Reiko spots an off-the-road location she noticed weeks back, and decides to scan it for scrap.
>>
No. 1037103 ID: aa8cad

rolled 7, 15, 15, 7, 8, 16, 2, 15, 16, 9, 9, 18, 16, 13, 6, 1, 19, 15, 18, 11 = 236

>takes a bite exactly as if it were an ordinary ripe piece of fruit. The sounds are those of metal and glass being torn apart by heavy machinery.
Very exciting protection indeed.

>Thus refreshed and purring, Elanyah starts in on a coy, rambling explanation of some past embarrassing escapade she and Mia Xan have in common
Oh dear. Being flayed by magnetism and/or ingesting her 'drink' appears to have resulted in inebriation. Which means Elanyah may not be in a state to rein in her bodyguard.

>Eliznyabeth and Paprika tossed into the air
"Oh for the love of..." Natalina mutters, tucking her rapier under one arm and withdrawing a shiny, metal shin, which she cups in her hands, angles to catch the light, and uses to direct semaphore-flashes of light toward the bodyguard, using the same encoding as before. (Speaking as she does so, so the others aren't left out of the loop).

"Stop. Cease... provocations. Thrown... ammo... &... persons... reads... hostile. Ambassador... not... attacked."

Once again, training in persuasion and negotiations could be relevant, and the inability from Cultured might apply (though cultural context seems different enough here that maybe it doesn't?). Also applying Intellect Effort (7/12 remaining).
>>
No. 1037125 ID: f57349
File 165706058090.png - (891.87KB , 804x536 , 992321509223829626.png )
1037125

>>1037103
"ackn" replies the bodyguard, letting go of Paprika's shoulder and chin, taking a step back in a clear attempt to de-escalate. Then, to Elanyah, "the one with the sword understands Light."
"Oh! That should make this a lot easier," says the magnetic resonance through Natalina's sword. Then, visually: "Holding this [form together in such a low-energy environment actually requires a lot of conscious effort, more than I'd even realized until that abominable machine...|so I think I might actually have died for real if Eliznyabeth hadn't...|it all started because Mia's new flute boy...|and I tend to babble when I'm nervous...|'king under the mountain' is more of a.../Hidden Naresh...\thrip\fi\potato||bugs\i{i}i|aaa|\u|h//|\/\|/\/////]llo? Hello? I'm sorry I should have asked this sooner, how many colors and polarizations can you distinguish?"
Natalina has received the stream-of-consciousness equivalent of riding a raft down whitewater rapids, with a side-order of temporary blindness in one eye and pounding headache. Still, situation seems to be stabilized for the moment.

Everybody gets another 1xp for saving Elanyah.

Next scene, late afternoon. People and stuff have been making slow but steady progress up the rocky path to "The Eye of the Sea." It appears to be a perfect sphere of water, over a quarter mile in diameter. Inside, fish dart around between kelp and coral. There's no snow or ice near the Eye - glacier upslope from it cuts off sharply. Walking across that line, the air abruptly feels warmer and drier, though still a bit on the chilly side of comfortable.
Structure below it looks like smoke or fog from a distance. Wall thirty meters thick only blocks about as much light as a single sheet of oil-soaked parchment. Accessible parts are as solid as any other stone, though, and sturdier the higher up you go. When smaller pieces are broken off, white threads in the detached portion ignite, clear gets gradually smokier, and within a few days it's barely distinguishable from any other piece of pumice or drit.
Tunnels leading inside are about five meters in diameter, and oddly shaped. Still, that's in the nearly ideal range: spacious enough to accomodate aneen or wagons, but not too large to close off with a simple wooden gate.

Twenty townsfolk, mostly those with pre-existing mobility problems who were shuttled by chainpod, have reached the top and started preparations for a long stay. One aneen-drawn wagon is past the halfway point, near the top.
About halfway there, on a wide spot in the path, that parachute the chainpods arrived with has been set up as a rest-stop tent, portable kitchen inside. Thirty or forty people are there or nearby, along with two wagons and three aneen.
The rest are mostly still in or near the town, dealing with various smaller emergencies, or agonizing over what to pack and what to abandon.

One of the chainpods has broken down. Recharging fine, can still roll along behind either of the others, auxiliary systems seem to work, but when you try to engage the main drive it just makes a soft whine that slowly rises in pitch, ending in a gravelly harrumph, then displays a symbol resembling a spoon or eggbeater and shuts off.

>>1037094
Reiko's sweep of debris out in front of the ruin turns up 7 shins, 1 unit of parts, and 4 units of Immorcell Colony iotum.
She explains that this mushy tumor large enough to fill a half-gallon jug is far, far older than the dead dog whose face she just harvested it from. Part of an unbroken lineage leading back to some monster spawned from the menstrual blood of Hela, goddess of amphibious crustaceans and the underworld. Each unit can be easily reprogrammed (given ten minutes and minimal relevant tools, which, between two wrights and Tayle the Chirurgeon, you've definitely got) to transform into any single sort of bulk tissue, such as fat, blood, or skin, but not complex organs. Apart from countless applications as a level one ingredient in biotech crafting and luxury food, it's great for treating exsanguination, surface burns, and similar problems. No chance of rejection by the body's immune system, instead perfectly mimicking native tissue.

Since most of the nine locals with particularly severe burns are each others' close relatives, two units of immorcell colony - half the tumor - could be spent on producing enough skin grafts to bring eight of them back up to "likely to survive," though dehydration and hygiene would still be an urgent concern.
>>
No. 1037147 ID: f57349

>>1037092
Elanyah can personally attest to your combat prowess and good character, which ought to fast-track past 90% of the usual hassle. All you'd really need to do is pass the sublithene operator certification exam (a difficulty 7 Understanding Numenera task, taking at least a full day), demonstrate some capability for opening an emergency repair vacuole, and accept a geth... er, a gays... guess... gefu... dammit why is that word so hard to pronounce magnetically? A magical binding oath of service.
>>
No. 1037186 ID: 97a765

rolled 14, 18, 1, 12, 11, 11, 15, 8, 4, 12, 2, 19, 17, 15, 14, 15, 17, 17, 8, 4 = 234

>coy, rambling explanation of some past embarrassing escapade she and Mia Xan have in common
Paprika decides it's actually for the best that she got tossed into the air only a couple sentences into this conversation.

>On impact, bodyguard's head twists around like a doorknob.
"Ha! ...wait what?"

>"ackn" replies the bodyguard, letting go of Paprika's shoulder and chin
Paprika lets go of the bodyguard's leg and massages her neck, stepping back. "Tougher than he looks."

Paprika will try to relay through Natalina, "Please travel with us to the relocation place, and then you can speak with Mia Xan. I'll be her protection." Addressing the bodyguard, "Do not throw anything at us. Do not use your abilities to bodily move us. None of that! You nearly caused serious harm to us all. Unless you want a fight, please be more careful. Also, Elanyah's family must be allowed near her." Paprika will make sure that both Elanyah and the bodyguard personally state their agreement with the plan.
>>
No. 1037187 ID: 37220d

>>1037147
Well, we established in Discord that she would need an artifact or similar for that. So, I will spend 3 exp to wish for a relevant artifact.

She will also at the next available opportunity take time to actually tailor her armor to fit her, effectively spending 2 xp on proficiency with exclusively that armor.

Rolling dice to heal Int
>>
No. 1037188 ID: 37220d

rolled 11, 3, 16, 20, 6, 15, 4, 5, 19, 12, 19, 7, 18, 5, 17, 9, 9, 19, 1, 10 = 225

>>
No. 1037230 ID: 287555

rolled 3, 5, 11, 14, 16, 14, 11, 6, 7, 1, 7, 10, 3, 3, 18, 16, 3, 6, 14, 2 = 170

> Natalina has received the stream-of-consciousness equivalent of riding a raft down whitewater rapids, with a side-order of temporary blindness in one eye and pounding headache. Still, situation seems to be stabilized for the moment.
OW.

Maybe some kind of protective lens would help, assuming Natalina is ever willing to try that again? Or... just asking her to slow down. Ow.

> There's no snow or ice near the Eye - glacier upslope from it cuts off sharply.
The aching-headed arkus gives the snowline a longing look, but she's not about to commandeer one of the chainpods ferrying disaster victims right now.

> I'm sorry I should have asked this sooner, how many colors and polarizations can you distinguish?
Natalina will leave explaining the technical specifications of the visible spectrum and limitations of the mark-one human eyeball to Reiko. The arkus isn't sure she could rattle off those details if her head wasn't pounding. (That would also give the cyborg the opportunity to follow up on her 'phoenix' if she remained interested).

> One of the chainpods has broken down. Recharging fine, can still roll along behind either of the others, auxiliary systems seem to work, but when you try to engage the main drive it just makes a soft whine that slowly rises in pitch, ending in a gravelly harrumph, then displays a symbol resembling a spoon or eggbeater and shuts off.
"Did our benefactor provide... ow... manuals?" Natalina winces. "Though perhaps someone else can handle the, uh, reading."
>>
No. 1037277 ID: f57349

>>1037186
>Paprika will make sure that both Elanyah and the bodyguard personally state their agreement with the plan.
Elanyah agrees with the intent to avoid violence, but you notice she's leaving a loophole in the phrasing for the possibility of something happening against her will.

Bodyguard has only "spoken" in pulsed light so far, which you don't actually understand, and based on Natalina's translations seems reluctant to explicitly agree to much of anything beyond "I heard that." Hasn't made further threatening moves, though. Based on the reference Elanyah made to a 'magical binding oath of service,' probably subject to some rigidly predefined rules of engagement.
>>
No. 1037279 ID: f57349

>>1037187
Scorched sections from the burning brawl cause scar-like shrinkage in just the right spots - or possibly trigger some dormant automatic resizing function in the armored fabric.
>>
No. 1037281 ID: e5709d

rolled 15, 13, 13, 1, 10, 6, 7, 1, 17, 15, 1, 6, 11, 4, 17, 2, 13, 17, 4, 5 = 178

"The good news is, I should be able to fix most of the civilians, so they don't die in their sleep. The bad news is they never made long term preparations and are probably going to starve anyway.
I can't wait to leave this giant pimple."



Reiko spends some time working with Old Grundle to apply the Immorcell carefully, and to diagnose the one injured who doesn't have particularly simple burns.

Afterward, she'll take a look at the chainpod and see if there's something that needs unjamming.

And if there's some time, she'll lend Saoirse the psychic module, this time insisting she borrow it and return it later, so she can tinker on making a cypher from a combination of amputated charred flesh, plastic chips found at the bottom of the interior of the chainpod's outer hull, and a weird, useless trinket from her scavenging efforts which looks like an ear of corn had an affair with a plush doll, then traumatized the bastard with heavy drinking and a side order of slapstick comedy.

Its name is Noob.
>>
No. 1037332 ID: f57349
File 165723614283.png - (1.24MB , 1826x962 , temp-cyphers-cant-normally-be-shared-but-its-funni.png )
1037332

rolled 3 - 1 = 2

>>1037281
>and to diagnose the one injured who doesn't have particularly simple burns.
it's not that they've got an intrinsically more complicated problem. If anything they got off relatively lightly, less total body surface area affected than most others in the "severe burns" group. Tricky part is how tissue antigen incompatibilities mean that one patient's skin grafts would need to be grown from a whole separate unit of immorcell colony. Could end up saving more lives to keep two in reserve, available for whoever's recovery runs into the most trouble over the coming days.

>Afterward, she'll take a look at the chainpod and see if there's something that needs unjamming.
Volcanic ash, combined with the relatively moist air inside the pods, has been building up around those tiny compound wheels the frame uses to connect with the interior of the spherical part. Looks like it reached a critical point in that pod first thanks to Paprika's fireproofing spray, but all three of them will need a thorough cleaning to fully resolve the issue, and you're not sure you have tools or solvents on hand capable of safely removing coagulating rock and socket-grunge without scratching or corroding the PTO contacts.
Options:
*Could do basically nothing right now, hope somebody stumbles across a suitable cypher or something before all three pods lock up completely. There are straightforward steps which can be taken to slow down the accumulation of further crud, assuming everybody wants to keep moving around with power from the two working pods, but most of them involve further depleting limited supplies of clean water.
*Could dig in there with a toothbrush and hope for the best. Obvious time to do it without interrupting the evacuation would be during the hours just before dawn... if not for limited light, and the fact you'd really prefer to be asleep then.
*Could spend 100 materials, 5 parts, and a considerable period of time building a level 6 specialty workshop, including forging and machining suitable tools, brewing and distilling suitable solvents, then do the job right. Combines naturally with work people would be doing to set up houses and workspaces around the Eye of the Sea.

>build a temperamental cypher with Always Tinkering
Scrap metal exhumed from the drit by Elanyah's dramatic gestures ends up being another major component.
>MAGNETIC GRIP HELM
>Wearable: Head-covering helm studded with strange devices
>Effect: Once the helm is activated, the wearer can exert force on metal objects within short range for up to one hour. The force exerted is approximately equal to the strength of a fit, capable, adult human. The wearer can use it to slowly move or push off from metal objects, and so on. This force lacks the fine control to wield a weapon or move quickly, so in most situations, it’s not a means of attack.
Ronyan and Elanyah run off with this device and spend two noisy hours locked inside the sublithene. Afterward, Ronyan, most of his hair burnt off, grinning like a fool, claps Reiko on the shoulder and says "You done right by me and mine, Lastname, such as won't soon be forgotten. Catch anybody else whispering so much as a word against you, I won't stand for it."
Reiko manages to get it reassembled, decontaminated, and charged back up. Should be usable for one more hour.
>>
No. 1037335 ID: 287555

rolled 13, 18, 9, 17, 14, 5, 20, 7, 7, 5, 5, 6, 9, 4, 20, 6, 5, 4, 11, 10 = 195

>>1037281
>>1037332
Ah, very good, the wright can handle the troubleshooting of misbehaving machinery.

> One aneen-drawn wagon is past the halfway point, near the top.
> About halfway there, on a wide spot in the path, that parachute the chainpods arrived with has been set up as a rest-stop tent, portable kitchen inside. Thirty or forty people are there or nearby, along with two wagons and three aneen.
For the moment, Natalina is volunteering at the temporary kitchen, getting to know the locals are she works, and taking the opportunity to rest her overwhelmed eye in the shade.

Mechanically, I'm not sure if that counts as more than applying the Community Leader bonus to the ongoing relocation.
>>
No. 1037353 ID: 97a765

rolled 3, 2 = 5

Paprika is sincerely regretting her decision to act as Mia Xan's bodyguard, since that requires her to be near Mia Xan which is always an awful experience. Other than guard duty, she tries to make things as comfortable as possible for Elanyah and her bodyguard by asking a few villagers to help her build a bonfire for lounging in. She'll also offer up her aura of fire if the lava girl needs it.

Paprika has no idea how to fix the chainpods, and she wants nothing to do with that tumor Reiko dug up. But she will try to organize everybody in the camp so they're more ready to respond to any threats that arise - applying the Glaive community bonus.

She manages to slip away for a half-hour or so (she asks someone to cover guard duty for her, Saoirse or perhaps Mask) to take a few deep breaths, re-apply makeup, and get something to eat. Rolling two recovery rolls.

Paprika enters the soup tent once Natalina's served everyone else and has sat down with a bowl of her own. "Soup cold? I can heat it up for you! If you like..."
>>
No. 1037420 ID: e5709d

rolled 2, 5, 8, 17, 17, 11, 18, 3, 18, 2, 14, 15, 13, 20, 11, 16, 14, 14, 12, 1 = 231

>>1037332
>Ashen Grunge Buildup
Reiko considers the options at hand, especially the water consumption... and then realizes they have open communications with a Volcano Spirit. Building an evaporation-based water purifier should be relatively easy.

>Ronyan and Elanyah played naughty Pong with brain magnets
Reiko stares for a few moments, gives a thin smile.
"...Happy to help.
Actually, there is something we're probably going to need: purified water. Would you and/or your employer be willing to place controlled heat sources so we can boil some of the lakewater? Oh, and we need a slab of glass."

After using two units of Immorcell Colony Iotum to save eight of the nine grievously wounded, Reiko will attempt to construct a basic water purifier with Elanyah's and Old Grundle's assistance as her part in community improvement. She'll also request borrowing the aneen to transport dirt-water.
>>
No. 1037427 ID: 287555

>>1037353
>Paprika enters the soup tent once Natalina's served everyone else and has sat down with a bowl of her own. "Soup cold? I can heat it up for you! If you like..."
"Oh, um, certainly?" Natalina starts. "No need to waste more firewood, thank you.

"Have you had anything?"
>>
No. 1037429 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 20, 9, 19, 4, 6, 19, 10, 3, 6, 16, 4, 5, 5, 2, 16, 10, 3, 12, 12, 7 = 188

Grundle has been caring and keeping people stabilized while others deal with the big beast he has no skills to go talk to or tame. Hes good at helpin folk so thats what hes inclined to do. Reiko coming along seems to have the same intent of helping and fixing the locals up. Grundle states definitely "Reiko i know these immorocells are yours but unless you stop me I will be using the extra dose ro help those in need. I'm not in the habit of letting those in need suffer with resources in front of their face"

With the locals being cared for and presumably being helped to the Eye of the Sea by the locals who remain Grundle starts the slow trek up the mountain. He also notices the chainpod thats broken but deicides to discuss things with his compatriots before making any rash decisions. Arriving over the mountain Grundle and Reiko start discussing engineering plans

"Ahh Reiko I see so you want to try to use a large pane of glass to melt large quantities of snow quickly. I do think it would be rather complicated so I'm glad youre involving others. If you need my assistance please dont hesitate to yell for me. As for me once you get the water sorted we can probably work on fixing the chain pods since you found the problem earlier. So for now I'll work on seeing what I can do to help people get the most from their rations."

Grundle then goes about using his parts and machine knowledge to make a sort of proto kitchen where the townsfolk will be able to harvest fish, take the waste and funnel it into breeding more fish and a system to dry and wash kelp for eating. potentially with areas to cook fish like some sort of wood powered stove. after this his internal plan is to work on fixing the chainpods. Potentially working with others to make sure they are all fully repaired.
>>
No. 1037441 ID: f57349

>>1037420
Reiko gets a small proof-of-concept solar still built, but then over the course of a few hours the clear synth bag used as a condenser turns cloudy yellow, brittle, and starts to fall apart. If fumes alone can do that, directly turning the lake water potable again is probably more trouble than it's worth - would have to build some filtration-and-distillation machine, which might not be possible with the time and parts available.

Simple but labor-intensive option, assuming nobody can find a way to tap into the Eye of the Sea, would be hauling uncontaminated water down from the snow line.
>>
No. 1037444 ID: 97a765

>>1037427
"Oh sorry! I didn't meant to sneak up on you."

>"Have you had anything?"
"Not yet, I hope I'm not too late." Paprika is the sunniest she's been all day as she scoops up Natalina's bowl and goes over to select a bowl of her own (her mood improves even more when she notices that the bowl she picked was taken from Mia's china cabinet for community use).

Paprika turns around and combusts (spending 1 Intellect) with a soup bowl in each arm, bathing the makeshift tent in warm light. After a moment Paprika drops her flames and serves Natalina her (now steaming) soup.

"So I was thinking! The armored creature Elanyah brought with her really seems to want to kill us. But I've been trying to come up with a way to extend an olive branch. A gift maybe? Do you have any ideas?"
>>
No. 1037500 ID: 287555

>>1037444
>>1037444
Natalina misses her spoon, due to a temporary lack of depth perception and a flicker through her hand.

"They... are either alien enough to have not realized they were provoking us, or engaging in malicious compliance, trying for an excuse. If the former, a gift or gesture would have to bridge that gap, in the later, that and the hostility." The arkus attempts to think on the unusual question through her headache. "Something that wouldn't melt when they return home? They seemed to regard explosives as edible. I don't suppose you can make things out of flame that... last?"
>>
No. 1037503 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 14, 17, 2, 15, 1, 10, 1, 1, 6, 8, 14, 17, 16, 8, 3, 20, 10, 12, 8, 13, 12, 3, 18, 9, 6, 16, 6, 9, 8, 12, 19, 8, 9, 9, 4, 15, 3, 18, 11, 4, 8, 15, 15, 12, 20, 13, 19, 3, 5, 13, 8, 9, 13, 6, 18, 1, 16, 17, 5, 15 = 626

>>1037125
At the makeshift kitchen waystop, Mask discusses potential next steps with the others who could fairly lay claim to the chain pods.

"Helping the villagers is noble, very noble! I condone your aching spirits, but bluntly I will say that this is the way of the world. Of course we cannot ignore the innocent in need, but these people are no more deserving of salvation than any other war torn soul. I say we stay just long enough to repair the machinery we need and then make haste to the site of our star-destroying departure!"

OOC I feel like we could have room longer IC dialog with anyone who's interested, but that's not super actionable- so I'd also like to double up and actually start dungeon delving since it seems we'll need lots of parts and iotum. So, at risk of causing time confusion, who's interested in going into the tunnels in the Eye of the Sea, and what do I need to roll/declare/start doing, decision wise, to actually start dungeoneering?
>>
No. 1037558 ID: 97a765

>>1037500
>" ... They seemed to regard explosives as edible. I don't suppose you can make things out of flame that... last?"
"No...I've tried." Paprika absently stirs her soup.

"I bet they have plenty of explosives back home. I think it should be something special, to show the unique beauty of our home. Flowers maybe? Temporary, but probably something they've never seen before! Are you okay? I'm sorry, if you want some peace and quiet please let me know."

>" ...I say we stay just long enough to repair the machinery we need and then make haste to the site of our star-destroying departure!"
"I see your point Mask, but I know a lot of the people in this village. Eliznyabeth does too. I don't think either of us will be able to just move along."
>>
No. 1037562 ID: 287555

rolled 20, 11, 6, 2, 11, 17, 15, 8, 2, 5, 7, 18, 8, 1, 11, 19, 13, 4, 8, 13 = 199

>>1037503
>Of course we cannot ignore the innocent in need, but these people are no more deserving of salvation than any other war torn soul. I say we stay just long enough to repair the machinery we need and then make haste to the site of our star-destroying departure!
"I will not ignore the suffering of those in front of us when we can make a difference, not for a deadline decades distant." Natalina tells the person in the metal mask. She sighs. "We will have to clear the ruins, regardless. It is the most available shelter, and we will need the resources."

>>1037558
>flowers
"I'm not sure they could touch plants... but they do communicate in light, so perhaps they would appreciate vibrant colors? Something impermanent is also less likely to be seen as an attempted bribe, if they're the type to be offended by that."

>Are you okay?
The lady of culture waves her hand. "A headache from Elanya's... luminous exuberance. Thank you for the concern, but I'm far from the worst off."

>Could try obtaining specific bits of commonplace equipment.
In preparation for dungeon delving, Natalina will see if she can find some light armor (it won't help when she's phased, but might if caught off guard) and a knife. A wheelbarrow might be useful to recover salvage from the ruins, but as she's not always solid, the arkus is perhaps not the best woman to push one. (Not sure if I can apply Understanding to this task, but the discerning training from Cultured seems relevant to scouting equipment, and persuasion and negotiation to securing it).

Information gathering might also be worth attempting? The map >>1037125 is very helpful, but so would any further details the locals have heard from past explorers.
>>
No. 1037571 ID: 97a765

rolled 10, 12, 7, 8, 4, 20, 1, 18, 19, 14, 6, 11, 12, 4, 18, 12, 20, 14, 6, 7 = 223

>>1037562
>"... Thank you for the concern, but I'm far from the worst off."
"Well...if there's anything I can get you, please let me know."

>"I'm not sure they could touch plants... but they do communicate in light, so perhaps they would appreciate vibrant colors? ..."
"Maybe we could arrange the flowers in a jar of some sort? I think we may have something here." Paprika rests her chin in her hands and looks into Natalina's eyes, her soup completely forgotten. "When you're feeling better, would you like to help me pick flowers?"

>Equipment
>A wheelbarrow might be useful to recover salvage from the ruins, but as she's not always solid, the arkus is perhaps not the best woman to push one.
Paprika wouldn't mind pushing a wheelbarrow, but she might need some help with her spear (or she could leave it, cramped hallways are kinda what the sword is for anyway). She'll gather some torches, paper and pen for notes and mapping, water jug, and she'll try to get her hands on a decent pair of hiking boots (her ankles are already killing her from hiking all this way in her dancing shoes).

Also it should generally be assumed that she's carrying her fireproofing perfume bottle, as well as her razor and cosmetics kit (Paprika's "dress for a formal ball" equivalent)
>>
No. 1037573 ID: e5709d

>>>1037429
"Imma stop you there.
Immorcell is rare; few creatures are infected with this miracle substance; fewer still realize what they're burning in a pyre. You'll need a strong argument to convince me to surrender half of what I'm keeping for grander emergencies. And don't expect me to use the last unit, not until I can figure out how to cultivate this stuff."

>Mask wants to leave
>Natalina wants to assist further
"I'm voting for Mask's course of action. You've fully agreed to a commission, and taken payment in advance, which means that your job takes place over non-emergencies. Natalina, your course of action assumes we cannot find anyone who can assist. Realistically, half of us should head back to the capital, sub-contract some professional healers and engineers, and have them take proper care of the survivors, all with these hyper-speed chainpods."

>>1037441
Reiko curses.
"What else can go wrong today. No, really, let me know right now so I can brace for it."
>>
No. 1037575 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 13, 3, 8, 10, 3, 6, 4, 4, 11, 19, 6, 8, 1, 17, 8, 15, 14, 17, 7, 9 = 183

>>1037562
> I will not ignore the suffering of those in front of us when we can make a difference

"You can ride out to any town within a weeks distance and still get home for dinner. That means your sword can reach thousands of hungry sods, maybe in worse conditions than these here. I'm not saying we ignore these people, I'm saying you're making a choice ever second you help someone who's not in critical condition over helping someone who is. It's a terrible business with no good options. Now obviously you're learned, you'll knows rations in hand are better than fresh bread at home- the sane response is that you can see these people in front of your nose clear as day, so obviously you can't leave them and go questing for wild suffering-geese. Which I'll agree with. You're going to have to stuff cotton in your ears and blinders on your eyes if you ever want to stop seeing suffering though- there's always going to be another fire to put out.

>>1037558
"I'll brook no further arguments. My ties lie not here, and it's not in my business to tell you your families don't deserve comfort and safety. I hope you don't think me ignoble for wanting to focus- I've just seen my fair share of burned villages, and I doubt we'll escape them. I intend to go scout the entrances and see what I make of things."

While gathering supplies, Mask overhears discussion of potential olive branches.

"A fine riding beast is never amiss! Ah, wait, they've got their serpents, haven't they? Probably no need... Well then a fine suit of armor! Err, but wait, they're made of fire, and only solid sometimes besides aren't they. That probably won't do at all then. What to offer a knight with no body.... A fine lance or sword is likely of no use either.
Say, fire likes wood, yes? Maybe the heart of an old and beautiful tree? Or perhaps they'd simply be happy with an embassy on the surface that can accommodate their flames more comfortably.

As for equipment, only thing I really want that's not on the list yet is wine and oil. Seems like the kind of things that might come in handy in a dangerous place.
Let's start with by exploring the three tunnels near point A on the map.
>>
No. 1037851 ID: f57349

>>1037429
Old Grundle supervises the snow-gathering and latrine-digging, to make sure the latter won't contaminate the former, then sketches out plans for a more elaborate freshwater distribution and wastewater reclamation system to be installed over the coming weeks - no numenera required, just pipes and valves and vats full of progressively finer grades of sand.

No numenera other than the Eye of the Sea itself, anyway. Even with that natural 20, can't figure out a way to pierce the level 8 material of the outer shell.

>>1037335
>rolled 13, 18
Natalina manages to cook and cater an above-average midday meal, even by professional standards, and her complaints about inadequate tools and materials are mostly taken as false modesty rather than snobbishness.

>>1037503
>what do I need to roll/declare/start doing, decision wise, to actually start dungeoneering?
Copy the map, draw a line in some contrasting color indicating your planned route.
If you're bringing a group, specify marching order. Hallways are mostly wide enough to march five abreast, or accomodate any of the available vehicles.
Artificial light isn't immediately necessary, even if you're planning to explore overnight, since those fibers in the walls glow dimly in response to nearby movement.

>>1037562
>any further details the locals have heard from past explorers
>rolled 20
Most of the visible movement is around the southeast quadrant, and main problem there is shinspinners. Picture a centaur, but raccoon and possum instead of human and horse, and it has eyes the way a porcupine has quills. Rarely moves the same direction its body seems to be pointing. Don't seem to be sapient, but they do use tools. Watch out for electrified cables that grab like constrictor snakes, and a rocket launcher pointed north in the long straight corridor east of point G.
>>
No. 1037853 ID: e5709d

rolled 5, 7, 10, 8, 17, 15, 5, 6, 20, 13, 4, 20, 3, 9, 9, 19, 18, 15, 2, 6 = 211

Reiko brushes off a loose layer from the thickest portion of the sludge, collecting samples of the ashen grime, to be experimented on later for optimal solvents.
"We're almost out of time. If we wait any longer, these chainpods will suffocate to death. Metaphorically.
Saoirse and Grundle, I recommend you take the two remaining chainpods, our remaining wounded civilian, and Mia Xan or one of the other nobles, and flounce your way back to the capital. Send for help. If not, then at least keep the grime in the gears from getting worse.
Tayle, your grandpoop didn't pay me for this month. Give my cut to Saoirse so she can buy the resources to save your asses."

Reiko walks behind Mask.
"Dungeoneering is not my style. And I'd rather walk away from this miserable town. But nothing says cowardice more than rejecting glory 'because I don't feel like it'.
Into the breach!"

Reiko follows Mask into the first antechamber and immediately scans for iotum.
>>
No. 1037917 ID: 287555
File 165767750570.png - (802.66KB , 804x536 , Outlying Stuff First.png )
1037917

rolled 13, 3, 12, 19, 9, 15, 1, 12, 14, 18, 12, 15, 7, 2, 1, 18, 16, 9, 5, 15 = 216

>>1037573
>"I'm voting for Mask's course of action. You've fully agreed to a commission, and taken payment in advance, which means that your job takes place over non-emergencies.
"You are very quick to remind me of clauses I never agreed to, in a contract you did not witness." Natalina coldly informs the cyborg. "And even if that were true, I at least consider what has happened here today an emergency."

>Natalina, your course of action assumes we cannot find anyone who can assist. Realistically, half of us should head back to the capital, sub-contract some professional healers and engineers, and have them take proper care of the survivors, all with these hyper-speed chainpods."
"I have neither means nor social standing to assemble a second band of plucky heroes."

>>1037853
>"We're almost out of time. If we wait any longer, these chainpods will suffocate to death. Metaphorically.
>Saoirse and Grundle, I recommend you take the two remaining chainpods, our remaining wounded civilian, and Mia Xan or one of the other nobles, and flounce your way back to the capital. Send for help. If not, then at least keep the grime in the gears from getting worse.
"You wish to evacuate one of our two healers from the site of a disaster right before we brave dangerous ruins, as well as the local diplomat needed to negotiate peace, in vehicles you describe as near death, stranding them a month away on foot?" Natalina's patience snaps. "NO."

Reiko [droptable lastname;] is rapidly dropping in the irritated arkus' esteem. The problem of too many passengers for too few 'pods might be easily solved by leaving behind the deranged wright attempting to attach herself to their expedition.

>>1037575
The cultured fencer has philosophical objections to couching a trolley-chainpod problem with imperfect knowledge as an argument against doing what one can, but as Mask is not interested in further discussion and has already agreed to help explore the ruins, the issue is not worth pursing. Especially not with Reiko demanding

>>1037571
>"When you're feeling better, would you like to help me pick flowers?"
"That might be a pleasant diversion after braving the Eye of the Sea." Helping collect flowers to win over someone who threw a grenade at her isn't how Natalina expected her day to go, but life is strange.

>>1037575
>Let's start with by exploring the three tunnels near point A on the map.
>>1037851
>Copy the map, draw a line in some contrasting color indicating your planned route.
Natalina will suggest the group begin by clearing the outlying, disconnected chambers. They've probably been picked over already, but if we're going to be entering from the west-side entrances, we should make sure there's no monsters nesting there who might be able to cut us off on the way out.

>If you're bringing a group, specify marching order. Hallways are mostly wide enough to march five abreast, or [accommodate] any of the available vehicles.
The arkus should probably be in the middle or rear of the group, since she's not the sturdiest in the expedition.
>>
No. 1037974 ID: 97a765

rolled 14, 19, 5, 2, 7, 8, 20, 12, 10, 15, 4, 6, 3, 8, 7, 11, 4, 1, 20, 12 = 188

>>1037575
>"... I hope you don't think me ignoble for wanting to focus ..."
"No it's fine. I'm just glad you're here to help. It does mean a lot."

>Mask's gift suggestions
"Well they do seem to be capable of wearing armor. Those are pretty good suggestions actually...it just seems inappropriate to give someone arms as a peace offering? I do like the 'heart of a tree' idea though."

>>1037853
>Saoirse and Grundle, I recommend you take the two remaining chainpods, our remaining wounded civilian, and Mia Xan or one of the other nobles, and flounce your way back to the capital.
>Natalina's patience snaps.
Paprika sits silent for a moment after Natalina's outburst, then speaks up quietly. "You're not going to convice Saoirse to go anywhere, or Mia for that matter. Stop trying."

>>1037917
>"That might be a pleasant diversion after braving the Eye of the Sea."
Paprika smiles. "I hope so. I've been trying to keep my spirits up, but it's been hard holding it together through all this."


>Natalina will suggest the group begin by clearing the outlying, disconnected chambers.
Paprika agrees. She'll probably be at the very back behind Natalina, since she's playing pack mule.
>>
No. 1037975 ID: e5709d

>>1037917
>>1037974
"Okay, okay! We'll do it your way!
Look, I'm a wright (now), it's my job to think outside the box."

>Marching Order
Reiko takes position 2, what with Mask taking Position 1 gladly.
>>
No. 1038283 ID: 719a05

>>1037851
So I've been behind on the loop, but Eliznyabeth, not having recovered really from her mostly light burning, has largely spent the day hunting as large game as she can sink an arrow into, and will try to work on preserving as much as possible, since food and water are probably the most important thing to stockpile for the immediate future of the town.

>If you're bringing a group, specify marching order. Hallways are mostly wide enough to march five abreast, or [accommodate] any of the available vehicles.

Eliznyabeth should definitely be towards the front, given as she has really good eyes for low light environments (Trained in: Hearing, smell, and seeing in dim light) and in setting off and even jamming traps in a way that won't get people killed (she hopes, Flex Skill: Disabling Traps)
>>
No. 1038285 ID: 719a05

rolled 20, 8, 19, 5, 12, 18, 4, 7, 6, 2, 4, 4, 20, 6, 3, 18, 1, 5, 13, 3 = 178

>>
No. 1038319 ID: d73c7e

rolled 13, 12, 9, 17, 12, 7, 8, 14, 1, 5, 11, 19, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 2, 13, 1 = 207

> Kome trying to send me off to the city with some royal know it all

You ain't gettin rid of Grundlehaven that easily girl. We work together mighty fine you and I but theres somethin deep in those caves that call to my bones and I'm gonna go crawling around to figure out what it is. I think these people are fine folk but I've done what I've can for now.

Grundle means it too. Theres something in there thats got him feeling a sort of uneasiness he hasn't felt in years. There may be some of the old world in there to itch his wright reading skills. It could be theres a creature in there he's yet to disect and take apart for study. Or it could just be some bad breakfast but grundle hasn't gone exploring from his town in over a decade till now and hes willing to go crawl down in the depths of the guts in there to figure out what's what.

Grundle is going to attempt to be second to third in line. Like Eliznyabeth he thinks he could be useful down there with his knowledge and "training in the lore of flesh-eating, nonhumanoid creatures—recognizing them, knowing their weaknesses, and knowing their habits and behaviors." So i'll try to fall inline where people think I could fit best with that in mind.
>>
No. 1038562 ID: f57349
File 165821763358.png - (2.70MB , 1450x1080 , Dungeon_wall_mark5.png )
1038562

>>1037917
All four of the outlying structures circled have connections back to the main mass somewhere above ground level, angled pillars or buttresses of the same smoky material. The northernmost and westernmost, not being fully enclosed, were already searched by Reiko as part of obtaining the immorcell colony and don't seem to have anything else of interest, apart from those ubiquitous fibers in the wall material which glow in response to nearby movement. There's a slight delay, and newly-glowing fibers set off others nearby, but less strongly, so the visual effect propagates almost like ripples across the surface of calm water.

In the larger northwest section, between them, that circular room has a shriveled fungal mass roughly the size and shape of a strong man's leg (minus the foot) hanging from the center of the ceiling, and an oddly uniform layer of bone-dry loam across the floor. Seems almost more like some dusting of powdered sugar across a fancy cake than the sort of thing you'd expect from natural processes.

Southern section has the most interest from locals. Twenty thousand square feet in that big rectangular room would mean short-term shelter was mostly solved, with only one gate to guard, nobody needing to sleep in tents, and an adequate granary could probably be set up in the circular room. Nobody's gone in yet, though - just short of the point where the hallway reaches that larger room, there's a black-and-yellow-striped synth ribbon circling all the way around floor, walls, and ceiling, reinforced at several points with a pair of chalk ideograms: an eye with a slash across it, and an elongated U-shape with triangular barbs.

No one has yet been hurt in any obvious way by looking at things on the far side of the tape, such as a polished metal spheroid floating unsupported eight feet off the ground near the center of the south wall. Thus, loose consensus so far is that warning must be about something which is unseen, rather than a danger to vision itself. There's also at least one vocal proponent of the idea that it's a warded barrier holding back some sort of line-of-sight hazard, despite scans indicating that the striped ribbon in itself is inert, held on with commonplace glue made from boiled animal sinews, and contains no iotum.
>>
No. 1038658 ID: 97a765

rolled 4, 5, 2, 13, 15, 20, 2, 11, 8, 9, 10, 18, 5, 1, 17, 8, 10, 8, 18, 20 = 204

Paprika will throw a rock into the big rectangular room as far as she can.
>>
No. 1038659 ID: f57349

>>1038658
It splits on impact with the floor, and both halves come to rest about a third of the way down the length of the rectangular room. Not a very impressive throw.
>>
No. 1038685 ID: e5709d

rolled 15, 10, 2, 1, 2, 4, 15, 8, 7, 16, 12, 5, 2, 13, 14, 17, 3, 7, 12, 12 = 177

Reiko racks her memory for lore. She's sure she's seen that yellow-black pattern before... along with gallons of blood...
Either way...
"Yeah, I don't think marching into the territory of an invisible giant monster is a good idea."
>>
No. 1038696 ID: f57349

>>1038685
>Reiko racks her memory for lore
>rolled 15
Safe way to locate a superheated steam leak starts with slowly waving around something long, narrow, and expendable, a broom or stalk of bamboo or whatever is at hand. Until it cools off enough to start condensing, jet from the leak may have sufficient force to slam aside or pierce through whatever it touches, like a trip-hammer or ferocious blade... but perversely near-silent and invisible.
>>
No. 1038754 ID: 97a765

rolled 8, 18, 18, 4, 14, 8, 1, 18, 1, 13, 13, 6, 12, 7, 1, 16, 18, 11, 9, 18 = 214

>>1038696
Paprika will try to scrounge up a tree branch or something to wave around in there.
>>
No. 1038767 ID: f57349

>>1038754
How big of a stick? Four hours of your own work, or one shin paid to somebody who'd be gathering kindling anyway, provides 2 units of basic material for crafting, and one unit of raw wood is probably about sixty pounds.
>>
No. 1038783 ID: e5709d

>>1038767
"Wait, we had a curry festival last month. Check to see if they kept some spare curry powder. I bet that would show us the heat jets."
>>
No. 1038945 ID: f57349

>>1038783
Small foil packet of salt and pre-mixed spices is torn open and dispersed with a breath, from an open palm, in classic ninja fashion. No steam jets are revealed, but the metal sphere starts to wobble in place as the room fills with a pleasant imitation-meat scent.

A second sphere rolls down from the ceiling like an unspooling ball of yarn. Legs and fangs pop out of recesses on its surface, then it pounces.

>>1038319
Grundle recognizes the pair as steel spiders. They spin webs which are almost too thin to be seen, and which cut rather than sticking. Navigate mostly by touch and smell rather than sight, sort of like ravage bears. Really fascinating thing is the mobile bodies don't seem to have reproductive or even digestive organs - calling into question whether they're "alive" in the traditional sense, or more like support automata for the sessile device that processes organic matter to manufacture and recharge them. Their venom is a mix of boric and carbonic acids and partially-formed nanofibers, tends to cause nerve damage. Eyespots are sapphire, often low quality.
>>
No. 1038962 ID: e5709d

rolled 6, 7, 8, 16, 11, 16, 13, 20, 3, 6, 2, 17, 10, 11, 4, 16, 15, 20, 17, 19 = 237

"OhgoodIseasonedmyprey."

Reiko stumbles back for a moment, then fires iotum rays at the spiders like no tomorrow. Her arm pulses neon green as bursts of io-charged plasma erupt from her palm. Her implant processes gigabytes of data in seconds, just to minimize the reload rate.

"Stay away from the nest! They must have laced their webs with piano wire!"
>>
No. 1038964 ID: 287555

rolled 10, 2, 9, 2, 17, 10, 15, 18, 18, 9, 6, 8, 10, 7, 6, 5, 3, 17, 3, 8 = 183

>> 1038659
"The stone was cut so cleanly the pieces did not separate until it landed?"
>>1038696
"That strategy could allow us to map a safe path, assuming stationary cutting edges, and not random jets from some malfunctioning (or hostile) numenera..."

>>1038945
"...ah."

Well good news! Monowire spider-thread filaments will be fixed in place, meaning the group can (in theory) map a 'safe' path around them by trial and error, and perhaps even clear the hazard, and more won't crop up once the spiders are removed. At issue, of course, is first removing the steel spiders.

Natalina's going to hang back for now, and apply Understanding towards the Steel Spiders for this combat action, allowing the combatants ahead of her to take the lead.
>>
No. 1039040 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 2, 1, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 6, 5, 4, 2, 3, 3, 1, 3, 5 = 61

>>1038945
Mask is going to drop their lucerne and focus fully on the shield- as the front runner, the hope is to catch the spiders pounce onto the shield, then twist to slam it into the ground, outside the marked dangers where others can more safely disable or destroy it. I'll spend a level of effort on whatever that consists of.
>>
No. 1039044 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 15, 4, 18, 3, 16, 17, 10, 2, 2, 4, 5, 4, 14, 16, 2, 3, 16, 10, 15, 15 = 191

Grundles eyes go wide partly with excitement partly with fear as its been a while since hes been in combat. He quickly throws his arms out to try to indicate to everyone that they should calm down a second.

"Blind, sharp, venemous. Shoot and move" he said as quietly as he can without sacrificing others hearing him. so not whispering but not yelling either. He is then going to try to silently move about 4 meters to the left. hes going to try to follow the shape of the room and the spiders and essentually circle around them trying to stay out of range.

I'm going to try to abdjure creature immediately and i will expend as much effort as needed to try to control one of them preferably one not shot by iotem rays
>>
No. 1039074 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 15, 4, 15, 17, 4, 3, 6, 7, 6, 12, 1, 7, 20, 19, 13, 9, 4, 3, 10, 8 = 183

>>1039040
Rolled the wrong dice command, here's a proper roll.
>>
No. 1039138 ID: 97a765

rolled 17, 6, 15, 4, 11, 5, 1, 9, 6, 2, 14, 7, 14, 7, 5, 6, 1, 19, 3, 11 = 163

>>1039040
After Mask slams the spider down, Paprika will overturn her wheelbarrow and trap it.
>>
No. 1039165 ID: f57349

Grazing strike from Reiko's energy weapon deflects off the nearby spider's carapace, hitting dead-center on the one further back. Would've been an impressive trick shot if intentional, but ends up too defocused to cause much damage to either of them. Horizontal line at neck height somewhere between is intersected by the beam, glows dull orange along its entire length, and snaps loose with a twang a few seconds later. Each of the other wires it ends up tangled with produces a different musical tone.

First spider you saw is definitely awake now. Spends its action on moving torward the melee. Looks like walking on empty air, but stumbles slightly in discovering the broken webline's absence.

Reiko gets bitten on the hand for three Might damage, reduced to two by armor, and injected with nerve-shredding monofilament venom for four Speed damage, three of which will require mechanical repairs rather than medical care or rest.

While it's slurping pureed bone marrow out of Reiko's forearm, Mask reaches across the tape, grabs one of the steel spider's legs, lifts it off the unseen web which only just barely succeeds, since the spider is level 6 for purposes of balance and climbing and suplexes it into the middle of the group. Then Paprika pins it under the wheelbarrow.

With the strongest available meat-scent coming from its own pedipalps, Grundle predicts that the spider will conclude that it somehow got stuck in a very small room, with no prey, at night, and simply go back to sleep after ten to fifteen seconds. Twelve and a half seconds later, it does. The other spider initially seems unphased by imperious commands and continues a steady approach, but nuzzles him affectionately rather than attacking.

How are you going to go about clearing out enough of the razor webbing to make it safe for kids to run around in there?
>>
No. 1039166 ID: f57349

>>1039165
>Reiko gets bitten on the hand for three Might damage, reduced to two by armor
Wait, sorry, that should be reduced to ZERO by armor. Speed damage still applies as stated.
>>
No. 1039183 ID: f57349

>>1038283
>hunting as large game as she can sink an arrow into
>rolled 20
Fully-grown Earthshaker is about fifteen meters high at the shoulder and weighs upwards of three hundred tons. They feed on the tops of trees because it's too hard for them to reach anything lower.
A herd - one matriarch, two adult males (notably smaller), and three calves - happens to be ranging near the western edge of the vast Ba-Adenu Forest while Eliznyabeth is scouting ahead with the chainpods to confirm that Cerdyn's Pass is currently clear of avalanches and cragworms. Even through the pod's shock absorbers, individual footsteps can be felt from dozens of miles away.
Hard part ends up being more like mountaineering than butchery. Two slices removed from the matriarch's hindquarters, about fifty cubic feet each, mostly blubber but some muscle too, wrapped in waxed canvas and folded up to fit in the trailing chainpods but otherwise unprocessed. Wound disinfected with a few liters of vodka and stapled shut with a flap of skin the size of a fortress gate. Earthshaker matriarch will probably be fine (proportionately it's only the equivalent of a human losing a pint or two of blood), and the refugees will be having meat with every meal for weeks, assuming it can all be cured and stored properly before spoiling.
>>
No. 1039190 ID: aa8cad

rolled 9, 10, 10, 8, 8, 5, 10, 14, 7, 17, 15, 9, 6, 9, 19, 2, 3, 14, 9, 2 = 186

>spider sleeping the the wheelbarrow
"Do... we slip a sheet of synth or metal underneath and simply carry it out? We cannot simply release it nearby."

>Really fascinating thing is the mobile bodies don't seem to have reproductive or even digestive organs - calling into question whether they're "alive" in the traditional sense, or more like support automata for the sessile device that processes organic matter to manufacture and recharge them.
"So we need not worry about removing eggs, but we should ensure there's no active manufacturering apparatus inside."

>How are you going to go about clearing out enough of the razor webbing to make it safe for kids to run around in there?
"Mister Havespont, could you have your... befriended steel spider show where the remaining razor webbing is? Once identified, it can be more safely cleared.

"Reiko's weapon can cut strands, but we still need a way to safely move pieces cut free from their anchor points."
>>
No. 1039191 ID: e5709d

rolled 1, 8, 18, 1, 19, 10, 17, 13, 2, 5, 8, 17, 16, 1, 12, 9, 20, 18, 4, 16 = 215

"Ow."
Reiko opens up the port that the spider bit straight into. It seems as if every single [not-copper] wire in there has been frayed or severed in some way. Should still work, but the cooling fan is blowing harder than it should, and the whole thing periodically jams and resets on simple tasks. The whole module is going to need an overhaul. Luckily, her spare parts include a spool of [not-copper] wire, so it's just a matter of accurately locating the intended connections and replacing each of the twenty-or-so wires.

>>1039190
>Reiko's weapon can cut strands, but we still need a way to safely move pieces cut free from their anchor points.
"I got this. Just get a strong cart to carry this stuff. Grundle, have your new friend help with the de-webbing."
After spending time cutting apart the wires, Reiko dons the MAGNETIC GRIP HELM and telekinetically sweeps up the mess into the cart. She takes caution to move the wire slowly, but just fast enough so she can finish with 15 minutes on the cypher's timer for any final sweeps of extra wire.
"This should be useful. We just need some kind of filament holder, and maybe we can shear the grunge off the chainpods."
>>
No. 1039205 ID: f57349

>>1039191
Reiko spends an hour gathering up monofilament webbing from those two rooms, spooling it like a smoke-colored mass of cotton candy around a narrow cylinder of metamorphic stone. Used up the mag-manipulator helmet in the process, but she confidently announces that she got it all.

One of the townsfolk (same lady Reiko sold that doll to, as it happens) steps across the yellow-and-black-striped threshold... or at least, tries to. She's got calf-high hiking boots, and the heel of the left one stays firmly planted on the tape while the rest of her continues forward. After falling down, it takes her a few moments to figure out that her left foot is still inside the boot she's no longer wearing. Main clue is all the blood.

A second sweep to catch any other missed spots will probably take at least forty or fifty man-hours, from a combination of increased caution and the inherent inefficiency of poking with sticks instead of direct electromagnetic telekinesis.
>>
No. 1039211 ID: e5709d

>>1039205
"Oh shit. OH SHIT! GRUNDLE, HELP ME RE-ATTACH THE LEG!"
>>
No. 1039242 ID: 97a765

rolled 17, 7, 14, 14, 12, 13, 4, 3, 3, 15, 9, 3, 13, 4, 15, 3, 9, 4, 8, 8 = 178

>"Do... we slip a sheet of synth or metal underneath and simply carry it out? We cannot simply release it nearby."
"Wellll...what if we bury the whole wheelbarrow?"

>second sweep to catch any other missed spots will probably take at least forty or fifty man-hours,
>and the heel of the left one stays firmly planted on the tape while the rest of her continues forward.
>"Oh shit. OH SHIT! GRUNDLE, HELP ME RE-ATTACH THE LEG!"

Paprika will help Reiko and Grundle however she can. "I think we should call this building a wash and look elsewhere."
>>
No. 1039299 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 4, 15, 18, 17, 7, 18, 8, 6, 12, 9, 5, 3, 1, 19, 11, 2, 15, 18, 7, 18 = 213

After the initial commotion dies down, mask will suggest giving the captive to the newly founded king-under-the-mountain embassy, on the premise that they seem to enjoy dangerous metal containers, and might like this one too- that is, if Paprika is still looking for a gift to give.

Bored, with little to do, Mask tries to map the entrances of the tunnels leading further in for similarly marked dangers; my thinking is that, if we get caught unawares and have to flee, we'd want to know about any traps we're running towards in advance. So it's best to get an idea of whats behind each door before heading in one.

OOC it seems perhaps a bit unreasonable to have you describe every tunnel entrance, so maybe we can just post the relevant details when we get there, with the understanding that we had past knowledge and could have worked on disarming threats? Or, maybe a big monster will chase me out before I get much progress made, who knows.
>>
No. 1039322 ID: f57349

>>1039299
>OOC it seems perhaps a bit unreasonable to have you describe every tunnel entrance
That's why I want you to draw a planned route on the map, so I can instead describe the first interesting thing you encounter. Those labeled "activity hotspots" aren't the only points of interest.
>>
No. 1039324 ID: 131daa

rolled 16, 13, 7, 20, 3, 2, 2, 15, 17, 15, 4, 13, 3, 14, 16, 12, 1, 8, 10, 6 = 197

>>1039183
Alright, Eliznyabeth will attempt to try and tame these noble animals. After all, it would be nice to have such beasts of burden to help out with everyone, even as she had taken as much meat as she could move.

And so she would try and herd them back to the settlement so that she can help with the healing process and befriend them.
>>
No. 1039327 ID: f57349

>>1039324
One of the calves was almost grown enough to set off and start a new herd, so you manage to speed the process along and then sell it to some local powerbroker, who'd posted a substantial reward for something capable of making a grotesquely luxurious palace-on-wheels actually mobile at useful speed. Buyer's jackbooted goons are very helpful in getting all that meat packed away quickly.

You now have fancy scroll case containing a letter of credit from the First Bank of Ephremon, a city deep in the Ba-Adenu forest, maybe 150 miles southeast of the east end of Cerdyn's Pass. You've never been there. The number of shins which that elaborately decorated sheet of parchment claims to be worth is more than you have ever seen together in one place, but supposedly the Beanstalk is well within the range where most merchants will recognize it.
>>
No. 1039329 ID: 131daa

rolled 20, 11, 10, 11, 7, 4, 5, 5, 10, 13, 6, 17, 17, 5, 6, 16, 9, 4, 7, 10 = 193

>>1039327
Well, she would feel... Not great with how that situation turned out, but she would put that powerbroker at the top of her list of people to rob when she got the chance, and check out how the calf is comfortable in its new life.

Of course, it did occur to her that her mother's habit of robbing tax officials and people she had dealings like this with were the reasons she had to be trained to throw grenades away from herself. But, dealing with how fucked up THAT was could come later, she would need to start heading back with the kind of money she had only ever heard about in the kind of stories of the BIG heists from her mom.
>>
No. 1039330 ID: 131daa

rolled 6, 4, 4, 18, 11, 19, 14, 20, 2, 6, 19, 18, 2, 11, 6, 10, 16, 9, 18, 8 = 221

>>1039329
Spending 3xp on locking in that wealth from the deal
>>
No. 1039379 ID: aa8cad

rolled 5, 15, 3, 6, 6, 3, 2, 8, 15, 1, 20, 10, 17, 6, 3, 12, 15, 11, 20, 20 = 198

While Reiko was occupied with sweeping the chamber with her magnetic helm (regrettably an hour-long task the rest of the group could not assist with) Natalina would address the problem of the elephant deadly spiders in the room.

"Mister Havespont, would you direct your... thrall to join its brother in the 'nap room' while it remains under your control? Until we find a better solution, at least both spiders can be contained."

>"Wellll...what if we bury the whole wheelbarrow?"
"That... might work? We would need to clearly mark the site as a hazard for others." Turning again to their expert on carnivious wildlife, "Would they be capable of digging themselves free?

>mask will suggest giving the captive to the newly founded king-under-the-mountain embassy, on the premise that they seem to enjoy dangerous metal containers, and might like this one too- that is, if Paprika is still looking for a gift to give.
Natalina considers this with a frown. "Ancestors forbid the bodyguard take the gift of a box of deadly metal spiders as an assassination attempt. Though perhaps with their magnetic manipulation the arachnids would be of little threat. ...we would at least need a more secure container before attempting to transport the spiders back to Hallux."

In the meantime, Natalina will attempt to locate some material to act as a 'lid' for the spider box- a piece of metal or synth to slide under the flipped wheelbarrow so they can be removed from the would-be shelter. Perhaps Paprika would be willing to help move them out.

>an hour later
Wince.

>"I think we should call this building a wash and look elsewhere."
Natalina disagrees. "We know what the danger is here, the same is not true in the rest of the ruins. Without the spiders, locating the remaining webbing without a cypher is simply time consuming and dangerous if one is not careful. All we need are sacrifical 'brooms' to carefully probe, and something strong enough to pick up the last few pieces without being cut."

If an appropriate tool cannot be found, Natalina would be willing to contribute her Destiny Nodule to the effort to craft protection able to safely handle the webbing. Gauntlets reinforced with iotum perhaps? The work should probably be done by one of the Wrights after the amputation is dealt with, and one of their asset-providing books applied.

>Bored, with little to do, Mask
How odd; they were very eager to charge into the burning town to rescue others before, but now the person in the metal Mask seems restless (well, as much as one can tell). Perhaps they're driven more by thrill or danger?
>>
No. 1039395 ID: e5709d

rolled 12, 4, 7, 17, 14, 6, 14, 14, 13, 5, 15, 18, 2, 9, 16, 5, 20, 11, 16, 18 = 236

As Reiko swaps to a synth iotum and removes the wire she previously failed to locate (wondering how the hell she had missed one so close to the hazard line), the ringtone bounces through her mind. It appears the shock of her failure acted as a boost to her resolve. Morbid as it may be, the reward for her grievous error will be appreciated for use in the mending that comes soon after.

With boosts to core stats disabled at the moment, Reiko selects the option that once increased what she considers her 'processing power'. Not only will her brain implant perform greater mental calculations, but it will also affect her subconscious and assist her in general memory recollection and emotional control. She suspects it also could be used to subconsciously flex her inner tendons periodically so her muscle memory would be honed, but that's a waste of her current talents. (Intellect Edge +1)

As Grundle diagnoses and heals the patient, Reiko assists as best she can to undo her mistake and re-attach the limb. (Intellect, 1 Effort)
>>
No. 1039406 ID: 5c9e0c

rolled 9, 14, 16, 14, 1, 10, 14, 7, 3, 12, 17, 14, 10, 3, 19, 20, 5, 7, 13, 7 = 215

> Adorable blood thirsty spider monster coos and purrs at Grundle like a baby

ohgoodnessme youre just hungry and misunderstood its okay hungry little bloodthirsty baby you dont really mean that much harm its good for you to go get out of peoples way i think. I have the spider help with web removal for about 7/10 minutes. it is a small dumb spider though so like it probably doesnt understand much. In the last minuts i gently persuade the monster to go back to sleep with its spider friend and the two of them nuzzle affectionatley together before falling asleep in their "small dark room at night" hopefully pacified especially after munching on Reiko as a snack.

> Civilian tragedy happen
Its always one thing after another isnt it. hobbling over careful not to get any others of reikos missed wires he starts to asses whether or not he can even reattach the limb in the first place. He falls on: unsure but worth attempting. So with 2 effort applied and reikos help he goes about trying to reattach the food to the poor lady screaming in pain underneath her. With Reiko there its at least easier to keep the patient from squirming or going into shock too much. Hopefully now the foot is reattached and has enough hopkups that it wont slowly die attatched to the leg and rot, or never function again, or any other number of various complications that can come with reattaching a limb.

Grundle secretly thinks that it probably would of been better to stablize the woman then feed her foot to the spiders but refrains from voicing this opinion

"Well Reiko you sure tried your best but im sure any and all of the townsfolk will be peeing their pants before they start blundering into here without us testing every square inch first. Now, lets try double sure, with more that one person confirming, to get all the wire or next time I might be stitching up one of our comrades"

"Further I agree with the assessment of sacrificial brooms if you would. I prefer bristles to limbs any day of the week"

OOC would of applied crafting book bonus but i dont have half an hour to study the limb before someone bleeds to death so no book bonus will be applied.
>>
No. 1039682 ID: f57349

rolled 4 = 4

>>1039395
>>1039406
Foot reattached, but had to use some Parts (the number I just rolled) for microsutures and a structural brace while the bone knits. Optimistically, with a month or two of follow-up treatment she might not even have a noticeable limp. In the short term, though, that's still one more person who needs rehydration and a share of limited medical supplies, while unable to help with the heavy lifting.

>>1039379
>Natalina will attempt to locate some material to act as a 'lid' for the spider box- a piece of metal or synth to slide under the flipped wheelbarrow so they can be removed from the would-be shelter.
>rolled 5
Natalina manages to scrounge up some beeswax, and in the circular room, a thumb-thick, two-meter-diameter disc of crap-grade stronglass. Judging by scuff marks, and the rusted-out frame underneath, it may have previously been used as a table. Only about as sturdy as pinewood, so the steel spiders could definitely cut through if someone gave them a reason to, and a few years of direct sunlight will spoil the transparency, but sliding it under the wheelbarrow would be easy enough and then the captives could be sealed up airtight for transport without worry of incidental meat smells setting them off. Grundle says it'd take days, at least, before suffocation was a notable risk.

Tayle the Chirurgeon wants to speak privately with Natalina and Paprika, and possibly any others the two of them would trust with a sensitive matter. Needs advice on something, won't say exactly what. If posture and tone of voice are anything to go by, it's not a happy subject - seems to be unconsciously slipping into the mannerisms you'd expect of a doctor trying to prepare someone for finding out how many weeks they have to live. "King Under the Mountain wants reparations for the damage my family's business has apparently been causing down below. Mia Xan was talking to the emissary, came up with a plan for how to pay off the debt quick without hurting anybody I care about, but... I can't find anything wrong with it. It's too perfect. Nobody dreams up something that polished, for an unprecedented situation, in one pass, so soon after suffering a pyrolitic respiratory syncope. I'd like you to check Mia's work, make sure I'm not somehow being taken advantage of."
>>
No. 1039700 ID: 97a765

rolled 12, 10, 2, 2, 2, 16, 6, 10, 5, 6, 7, 20, 15, 5, 16, 15, 9, 12, 11, 19 = 200

>>1039379
>Natalina disagrees.
"I just feel like we're settling on land mines. How will we know when we've cleared them all? Let's just keep an open mind while we explore the rest of the structure."

>>1039682
>Tayle the Chirurgeon wants to speak privately
"I knew it. I knew she would try to pull something like this! I'm going to kill her." She takes a moment to calm down, "We should probably confront Mia first. It might look bad to the emissary if we go questioning our own diplomat. What do you think, Natalina?"
>>
No. 1039758 ID: 97a765

>>1039682
> 'lid' for the spider box
> Natalina manages to scrounge up some beeswax, and in the circular room, a thumb-thick, two-meter-diameter disc of crap-grade stronglass.
> Okay, so someone still has to roll for attempting spider containment.

"Alright, stand back. I got this! Whoo..." Paprika finds her eagerness to impress Natalina outweighing her fear of giant metal spiders, maybe a disturbing trend.

She's done this a thousand times. The spider's just...much bigger and more deadly than usual. Using dice roll from my previous post to carefully slide the disc under the wheelbarrow and seal it up with beeswax.
>>
No. 1039768 ID: 287555

rolled 13, 12, 6, 14, 1, 20, 7, 5, 8, 19, 15, 13, 9, 13, 20, 1, 11, 8, 18, 3 = 216

>>1039682
>>1039700

>We should probably confront Mia first.
"Perhaps after we have more than suspicions to confront her with?"

>I'd like you to check Mia's work, make sure I'm not somehow being taken advantage of.
"Very well. Tayle, what information were you provided? Have you heard or received a record of the volcano king's demands or damages suffered from the emissary, or second-hand? You have the details of Mia Xan's proposed agreement for review?"

If we're checking Mia's work, making sure it comports with the emissary's information is probably a necessary step. But even if we only have Mia's word to work on for the moment, Natalina can still review the terms of the agreement and verify those details later. This wouldn't be the first time her family had been involved in an agreement between nations! Granted, the volcanic inhabitants don't bear much similarity to eelfolk, but... and in more recent, less-grandiose matters, contract negotiations were not unfamiliar to the daughter of merchants.

Attempting to review Mia's work, applying Intellect effort, and consulting her book for an asset. Training in negotiation probably applies.

>>
No. 1039772 ID: f57349

>>1039700
>>1039768
Formal negotiations haven't properly begun yet, so very little has been put in writing. Core of the plan seems to be stealing kidneys, bone marrow, etc. from visitors, to be traded in Hidden Naresh for stuff the King Under The Mountain actually wants. Sketching out a diagram of the transactions and relationships involved, it becomes clear that there are several points where Mia Xan, or someone she has leverage over, could easily embezzle.

There's also the matter of medical ethics, which Tayle has studied, but is surprised and dismayed to learn are still supposed to apply even in dealings with disfavored foreign merchants.
>>
No. 1039780 ID: 97a765

rolled 1, 6, 15, 3, 4, 20, 8, 18, 15, 13, 10, 12, 14, 15, 13, 16, 10, 10, 4, 2 = 209

>>1039768
>"Perhaps after we have more than suspicions to confront her with?"
"If you have suspicions about Mia Xan, the reality will always turn out to be far worse than what you were suspecting."

>>1039772
>Core of the plan seems to be stealing kidneys, bone marrow, etc. from visitors
>There's also the matter of medical ethics, which Tayle has studied, but is surprised and dismayed to learn are still supposed to apply even in dealings with disfavored foreign merchants.
Paprika is outraged. "Are you serious? I forgot how much I hate this town and all the fucked up people who live here." Paprika is yelling loud enough for everybody to hear. "There will be no organ harvesting! You and Mia are going to come up with a different plan. I will make this clear to her too, now."

Paprika says to Natalina before she storms off to bust down Mia Xan's door, "See? Hahaha...what did I tell you? I was right." Roll is to threaten/coerce Mia into choosing a less evil plan. I'd like to spend effort, would that be intellect?
>>
No. 1039791 ID: e5709d

rolled 18, 14, 1, 4, 14, 14, 18, 8, 14, 1, 17, 8, 16, 18, 19, 11, 16, 14, 13, 10 = 248

>>1039682
Reiko breathes a sigh of relief and apologizes repeatedly. An angry glare from the woman sends her off.

>>1039772
>>1039780
The aura of flames Paprika exudes when angry catches Reiko's eye. As Paprika marches to Mia Xan, Reiko can hear Paprika fuming about the organ harvesting. Personally, Reiko doesn't feel harvesting body parts that can regenerate is such a big deal - though, the embezzlement clearly will be.
As Paprika completely makes an angrish fool of herself, Reiko blocks between them.
"Paprika! Don't set the furniture on fire, I just risked my life saving it!"
Reiko turns to the irate Mia Xan.
"What Paprika is trying to say is that this is a slippery slope. If you embezzle a majority of the operation from the beginning, the system won't develop adequately and your entrapped workers will grow increasingly desperate for pay and respect, until they resort to killing people for their stomachs and discarding spare parts. It could ruin you, kill innocents, destroy reputations between cities, etc.
I'm sure there's profit to be had in the long run from maintaining the enterprise as a beneficial byproduct of medical analysis. This is a resort. People come here to relax and get their health restored. Just publicly advertise taking medical samples of guests' non-vital organs. They'll be even more relaxed if you can determine once and for all if they have cancer; they won't even want their organ samples back."

>What Do
Reiko will attempt to mitigate Paprika's social blunder and attempt a more reasonable solution. (Intellect, 1 Effort)
>>
No. 1039794 ID: aa8cad

rolled 1, 17, 6, 4, 12, 16, 15, 1, 14, 8, 11, 1, 11, 4, 7, 14, 19, 1, 15, 2 = 179

>>1039772
"Even setting aside medical ethics or the risk of embezzlement, entering into a criminal enterprise would place you at risk should your victims, potential victims, or law enforcement discover the scheme. For a similar reason, you might find it hard to stop even after the initial debt is repaid—you could be blackmailed to continue lest your thefts be revealed and harm your reputation or freedom.

"I suspect you are correct and this scheme of Mia Xan's is not new, she has merely lacked an opportunity to pitch recruitment to yourself or another surgeon."

>>1039780
In a quite aside to Tayle, after Paprika runs off yelling. "If I am to assess the plan in good faith, I must admit it could work, though I cannot recommend it, and ethically I do not condone it." The arkus pauses. "...and the necessary secrecy for the scheme to work may be hard to come by, now."
>>
No. 1039844 ID: 3f01d5

>>1039322
X marks the spot! First, lets check that last detached building. Then, if there's little of danger or interest, we can work backwards, counterclockwise, starting with 11 and heading towards 1. Looking for obvious markings of danger, patroling monsters, traps, that sort of thing. Hope is to know which way to run if we get cut off deeper in, avoid getting caught off guard. I'll bring a pole with some paint or dyes on the end to serve as a tapping stick checking out the hallways.

>we would at least need a more secure container before attempting to transport the spiders back to Hallux
The right glass jar can make the difference between one deadly scorpion meant to eliminate the unsuspecting, or the invaluable centerpiece of a collectors prize room! I'm sure you need no further comment on this however- you seem quite learned on matters of presentation as a born-of-court.

>How odd; they were very eager to charge into the burning town to rescue others before, but now the person in the metal Mask seems restless (well, as much as one can tell). Perhaps they're driven more by thrill or danger?
I think you've got the jist of it- don't think I'm much good for sifting through the invisible razor-wire we've got here, so I'll leave that to others more ambitious. I'm more interested in seeing what sort of useful mechanism or portable riches might be further inside. Always good to have liquid in ones pocket, yes?
>>
No. 1039846 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 10, 4, 13, 13, 1, 1, 16, 14, 15, 19, 2, 13, 7, 16, 3, 20, 5, 2, 13, 11 = 198

> Political jargon happen

It just makes Grundle's head hurt. He has not time nor utility to talk business nor politics with the rest of the party nor does he think he will have many useful ideas. Grundle is going to do a recovery roll while the politics jargon goes on as he rests for a moment to gather his thoughts.

> Mask jumps to adventure scouting mode

Heck yes! This is much more up Grundles ally. He is quick to jump along. No need for paint on your stick my friend I have this useful jar of paint that refills once a day we shall use this to mark our way and mark what we have visited! First things first. Grundle marks the spider room with a big x in the black paint about the size of his palm. Then he heads out looking for more supplies for the group. His pack is still pretty full on cyphers so he doesn't bother to try to look for more. He does think he might be able to find iotum in these rooms eventually though.

For now his main action is going to be "Sense Magic" in the rooms and hallways he enters with Mask and any other person who joins.

"Ay me comrade. You been adventuring for very long? This your first scruff? I had quite a few adventures myself when I was younger"

He is lying of course as he was mostly a medical man at heart and a bit too interested in the morgue when he wasn't skilled enough to help them but it's useful and helpful to get to know the others. Could save your skin down the line after all.
>>
No. 1039847 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 5 = 5

recovery roll! +1
>>
No. 1039859 ID: 3f01d5
File 165949466258.png - (898.06KB , 804x536 , counterintuitive.png )
1039859

rolled 20, 1, 10, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 5, 14, 15, 5, 10, 2, 16, 4, 12, 2, 1, 9 = 154

>>
No. 1039869 ID: f57349

>>1039794
>>1039780
Paprika runs down the mountainside for hours, with Natalina in pursuit, a zigzagging trail of nightmare-fire and space-splintered rock as they skip over switchbacks and shout impassioned arguments that are mostly lost to wind noise. On arrival back at the half-evacuated town, Paprika is incoherent with exhaustion and rage. Elanyah's bodyguard observes what appears to be a blatant assassination attempt against one of the parties engaged in negotiations, and with a flick of the wrist sends both sprinters plummeting together into the sky, like a falling star in reverse.

Natalina and Paprika pass through the Death Zone, lose consciousness, wake up two steps down the damage track in an unfamiliar environment, or possibly an exceptionally vivid shared dream. Both are weak and nauseous, probably wouldn't be able to stand unaided if not for the fact of also feeling light as a feather. Push off with the force of an ordinary footstep, takes five heartbeats before reaching the floor again.

First room: about fifteen or twenty meters wide, eight high. Roughly hexagram shaped, with six aneen-sized alcoves. Well, five alcoves, plus a door shaped like a giant gear. Four are empty, while the one directly opposite the door has a metallic statue bearing an uncanny resemblance to Milaconi Whose Mere Touch Can Heal Or Slay, at least based on Reiko's descriptions and artistic depictions. Ceiling has a dome or something eight meters in diameter, showing starry night sky and a solar eclipse.

Second room: gear shaped door has triangular windows with rounded corners and a glossy black panel in the center. Touching that causes it to roll aside, revealing an antiseptic-white hallway, curved like a corkscrew down and to the right, punctuated by curtains of oddly cohesive smoke or fog. Is it getting narrower, or are you growing larger? Pleasant tingling sensation where the swirling particles touch your skin. Overall condition improves from "debilitated" to "impaired" without costing a recovery roll. Head still feels like somebody tried to clean out your earwax with a pickaxe.

Third room: past the last smoke curtain and another gear-door. Fifteen meters wide, floor and ceiling about four meters apart, both dappled grey synth with protrusions shaped like mushrooms. Average is waist high, but there's a lot of variety, larger flat-topped type surrounded by clusters of smaller, rounder ones. Clear synth cylinders with a wide assortment of colorful contents - green slime, red pebbles, what might be puffed rice, etc. - all around the perimeter wall, and at the bases of some of the larger mushroom structures too. Previous two were oddly devoid of scent, but this one reeks like an alchemy lab, and something worse is up ahead.

Fourth room: Door is an inert panel on a simple spring-loaded hinge. Previous two might have been airtight, this clearly isn't. A Y-shaped path, bordered by canvas privacy screens attached to the floor and ceiling with elastic cords, divides the room into three sections, each about six meters high and wide. One has a lathe and other reasonably comprehensible machine tools, the next has snarls of plumbing focused around coffin-sized upright cylinders of pink ice, the last has... well, they might be chairs, or torture devices. Four of them, sized for humanoids about three meters tall. Two vacant, two occupied by mummified corpses.
One of the exits, between the lathe and the chairs, is crudely barricaded, while the other, between chairs and ice, is padded for soundproofing but opens easily.

Fifth room: through the soundproofed door, similar size and shape to the fourth, but everything is black velvet. Y-shaped path is a raised catwalk with chest-high handrails between pits in the floor. One has stacks of quilted fabric, another is packed full of hollow fist-sized synth spheres, the third is flooded with warm salty water. Both exits (besides the way you came in) are gear-doors without windows. One is already open, the other only acknowledges your touch with an angry honk.

Sixth room: by far the smallest, roughly a four-meter cube with no other apparent exits. Everything is gleaming polished metal. Dozens of baffling curvilinear fixtures, at least some of which seem to be trapped - first one you poke whips out a small razor on a mechanical arm which flails around for a few seconds before withdrawing.
>>
No. 1039880 ID: f57349

>>1039791
Reiko attempts to follow the pair back down the mountainside, but can't keep pace. Tayle the Chirurgeon is even further behind.

Reiko barges in on the preliminary negotiations, introduces herself with what seems like an appropriate degree of informality ("My full name is a killing word which the very spirits of the Datasphere dare not speak") and proposes:
-That the site of the former bathhouse be ceded to the King Under The Mountain, for use as an embassy
-That the Volcano Tamer installation be dismantled (she volunteers to do that part of the work herself)
-That components salvaged from the Volcano Tamer be used for embassy construction, as an initial symbolic step toward reparations
-That seismic stabilization services equivalent to the installation's benefits be provided by the King Under the Mountain as part of a mutual nonaggression pact
-That a Farspeaking Pylon be constructed for embassy use, at Tayle's expense apart from material known as Quantium, which the King Under The Mountain should provide

Elanyah asks what her employer would be receiving in exchange for that iotum. Reiko replies that if plans for the farspeaking pylon alone aren't enough (and, admittedly, she's still assembling / unpacking those, based on cross-reference of volcano tamer innards with chainpod dashboard navigation systems), they could deliver steel spiders or other salvage from under the Eye of the Sea - two live specimens are already captured and ready for transport.

Mia Xan asks where Tayle is supposed to be getting food, let alone wages, for the workers needed to build a suitable embassy, and what they could possibly use as fireproof building material if the nonaggression terms prohibit quarrying local bedrock - which Elanyah agrees they almost certainly will.

At that very moment, Eliznyabeth comes crashing in through the wall, having slightly misjudged safe stopping distance when the rear chainpods are overloaded and one of them doesn't have a working drive mechanism. She disembarks, shows her cousin the paperwork. Elanyah confirms that the King Under the Mountain has had past dealings with the First Bank of Ephremon, through intermediaries in Vebar beneath the Amorphous Fields, and so would accept it as proof of creditworthiness. Then Eliznyabeth explains that she's going to need help preserving three tons of meat before it spoils. Oh, and she also got a minor status update from the mysterious patron who sent them on this quest in the first place. Y'know, the one who claimed to be able to extrude vast quantities of shapestone from almost anywhere on the ground?

The smell of hours-old blood mixed with trampled tallgrass and the whir of machinery spinning down brings bad memories to the front of Reiko's mind. She's shaking slightly, staring at something beyond the horizon. Takes a step back and crosses her arms. Mia Xan, looking at her but not quite seeing, says "I suppose you're right, nothing more need be said. Sounds like a very solid plan."
> rolled 18, 14, 1
GM intrusion, traumatic flashback in this case means you're stunned for a few minutes and take ten points of intellect damage.
>>
No. 1039990 ID: e5709d

rolled 4 + 2 = 6

>>1039880
>Mia Xan: How will you deal with logistics?
"W-well, I happen to... erm... would they be interested? I don't know if they actually cover catering... I mean, if I remember correctly, House... erm... what did those business partners do again? Something... rocks? No, no, I think it was salt... and... no, no, wait, the cattle barons got pissed off at us... I think... and House Sparlow is definitely not going to work with us, those assholes tried to-"

>Eliznyabeth bursts through the wall.
"... Hot damn, I need to stick with you gals. You seem to have the *sniff* solu-urk?!"

>Trauma
As Reiko grows nauseous from the stench of big game, her vision swims in simple sparks of light waving into existence and then flickering out as their trails fade. Flashes of red interlace her vision. As she tries to concentrate, her hearing tunes out to the sound of a radio, as loud blaring explosions swarm around her. The visions are back.
"P-p-lease excuse me I nnneed to iron out my brain."
Reiko manages to stumble outside and somewhere near the town's entrance before collapsing into sobbing jitters, occasionally forcing herself to vomit as her stomach commits seppuku over and over.

After the PTSD episode, she walks to the local workshop. Playing with the tools there helps her mind calm down. (Recovery Roll, all to Intellect)
>>
No. 1039993 ID: 287555

rolled 14, 10, 2, 15, 7, 8, 9, 18, 11, 8, 1, 4, 15, 19, 7, 20, 8, 2, 5, 5 = 188

Natalina feels disoriented and confused, and her head and eye are throbbing again. Did they really run for... hours? It felt like a snap decision, but it just went on, like some kind of trance. If they were thrown, how did they end up indoors—that first room did have a dome of strong-glass or transparent synth, didn't it? The discontinuity only adds to the dreamlike quality of their current environment.

"I don't know about you, but I really need a rest after that."

Going to retrieve some of the quilted fabric from room 5, and then spend an hour resting with Paprika in the first room, applying the recovery roll to move back up the health track instead of recovering points.
>>
No. 1039994 ID: 287555

rolled 4 = 4

>>1039993
>>
No. 1040036 ID: 97a765

>>1039993
Paprika sits cross-legged next to Natalina on the quilts, scrawling out a rough map and notes with a furrowed brow and shaky hands. "I'm so sorry I got you into this mess. Wherever we are..."

>applying the recovery roll to move back up the health track instead of recovering points.
Same here, also giving Natalina 1XP for the GM intrusion.
>>
No. 1040037 ID: 97a765

rolled 1, 13, 19, 19, 2, 5, 1, 17, 4, 14, 11, 10, 6, 9, 19, 10, 4, 17, 2, 10 = 193

Forgot to roll
>>
No. 1040044 ID: f57349

>>1040037
You've got sticks of chalk and charcoal for sketching, but the parchment set aside for maps is... well, way too parched. So dry and brittle, it's like trying to write on a fried potato chip. Any leather bits in your clothes (boots, belt, etc) feel like they haven't been properly oiled in months, and so are similarly at risk of structural failure without reasonably prompt maintenance. You're also really, really thirsty, but your canteen's half-empty, and what's in there is mostly a solid block of ice.
>>
No. 1040080 ID: f57349

>>1039844
>>1039846
>>1039859
Saoirse, Mask, and Old Grundle, scouting out the relatively small rubble-choked room marked "x" on the map, dig up a set of six sinister hovering orbs, about half a meter in diameter - slightly larger than the steel spiders. Upon being released they bob up to head height like corks in a stream. Mask discovers that they can follow directions in the form of traditional whistles and hand gestures used for falconry: "go over there," "come back," "circle around looking for trouble," "kill what I'm pointing at" (unlike actual falcons, they're willing to attack rocks, intensifying that cherry-red beam they constantly emit until it drills straight through, but they don't seem to eat), "stop," "don't bite that person's face, they're a friend," and so on.

All three of them get 1 xp each for the discovery. Also found six shins and three units of parts.

Through the entrance numbered 11, no monowire webs are found within broom reach, but there are some thick coiling vines or cables up near the ceiling.

That first big room, southeast of point H, has four shinspinners (previously described here: >>1037851 ). Two of them are frantically working cranks on the spindly brass tripod holding up what looks like an enormous conch shell, pivoting it around so that the narrow end points toward you. A third races across catwalks four or five meters off the ground, apparently headed for a cluster of vines just above the entrance. Last one chitters and squeaks and jangles a ring of keys.

Potential GM intrusion: due to that nat 1 Santova rolled, key-wielding shinspinner seizes command of the hovering orbs, who immediately turn and make a coordinated attack on Mask.
>>
No. 1040099 ID: e5709d

rolled 3, 3, 4, 6, 16, 19, 1, 13, 14, 7, 6, 16, 2, 8, 10, 15, 10, 7, 18, 20 = 198

To Reiko's delight, a quick test reveals that the boost to her processing power means she no longer gets a headache when she uses her scan tool. She decides to scan the burnt-out husks of buildings and the beach for traces of iotum.

Then Reiko remembers she left Mia and Elanyah with someone who burst through a wall.
Reiko hurries back, though using one of her furs as a scarf mask may not be the best idea.
"Sorry about that. I can't be around rotting meat for too long."
Reiko has the nagging feeling she has forgotten something. Aside from fixing the chainpods, fixing her arm, 'fixing' the Volcano Tamer by deconstructing it into a million new embassy parts, fixing Paprika from her flaming fugue-
"Wait, where's Paprika?"
>>
No. 1040163 ID: 287555

rolled 9, 8, 14, 1, 20, 9, 17, 11, 6, 10, 10, 3, 1, 6, 6, 20, 9, 17, 12, 14 = 203

>>1040044
"Are you all right? You look worse than I feel."

>after an hour, back to hale
"This morning we faced fire, this afternoon snow and a sphere of water, and tonight... I'm not even sure how to describe this place." Natalina's going to start figuring out their surroundings. (I figure more exploration will follow, but might as well start with answering some questions about the first room).

Is the sky above the right sky? Does it contain the north star, any well known constellations, familiar moon(s), or whatever the equivalent of those things are in the ninth world? The duo are lacking the necessary tools to determine lat and long from the stars, but they can still make a quick reality check. Has the solar eclipse progressed over the course of an hour? (No looking directly at the sun, even eclipsed). If it's unchanged, that might mean that's an image rather than the live sky.

Not touching yet, but any indication the metallic statue is actually an automaton? Seams, joints, wear marks or scuff marks on it or its surroundings? Is it small enough to fit through the door to the spiral hallway?

Any sign of how they arrived in the room with the skylight? Is the dome above covered or sealed? Any seams or markings in the room that might indicate concealed doors to the outside?

Now that we're less out of it, maybe pay more attention to the "healing fog"? Does it have any noticeable effect besides the tingling sensation? If it does have medical properties, might be worth trying to collect some later, once we have containers for it.

Natalina's training in perception, detecting differences, and/or noticing flaws or strengths from Cultured is probably relevant to most of that, and the inability in understanding numenera to some of that. The arkus will take the time to apply Understanding to each thing she's examining.
>>
No. 1040168 ID: f57349

>>1040163
>Is the sky above the right sky? Does it contain the north star, any well known constellations, familiar moon(s), or whatever the equivalent of those things are in the ninth world?
It's the left sky. Familiar constellations around the horizon, most of which wouldn't normally be visible at this time of year, plus central sections that are never visible in the part of the world you're from.
>Has the solar eclipse progressed over the course of an hour?
It has, though not as far as you'd expect if time was passing at the usual rate and the sun and moon were still approximately the same apparent size.

There's another occlusion, like a dark egg, large and nearby enough you can triangulate it just by walking around to different parts of the room. If this was a barn sized for aneen, that shape would be in the hayloft directly above Milaconi's twin sister, large enough for another such pair of twins to hatch out of as full-grown adults, though perhaps not sufficient for triplets. Could probably get a better look at it if you lit a torch or glowglobe and/or climbed up there.

>any indication the metallic statue is actually an automaton? Seams, joints, wear marks or scuff marks on it or its surroundings?
Abundant signs, including a half-meter-wide hatch on top. Could easily enough pop the manual release and see what's inside. Looks like it was sitting there undisturbed for at least a couple hundred years before you arrived. Lots of activity in the baffling abyss of time before that, though. Wear marks and wall fixtures in the other four alcoves suggest they're each meant for another automata of similar size but significantly different body plan.
>Is it small enough to fit through the door to the spiral hallway?
Yes - past the first fog-screen, anyway. Beyond that it'd be an increasingly tight squeeze. You'd need more information about exact dimensions, range of motion on those joints, etc. to say for sure whether it could crawl all the way through to the barricaded or honking doors without demolition work.

> Does [the "healing fog"] have any noticeable effect besides the tingling sensation?
Primary function seems to be cleaning. It disintegrates plucked or cut hairs, but not those still rooted, even if the actual break point is still some distance away from the curtain. Interface panel in the wall nearby (inconveniently far above eye level) seems to be for calibration or supplementary effects. One such setting resharpens Paprika's sword. Not just grinding it like a whetstone, but actually adding new material, filling an old notch in one edge... plus scalpel-like extension to a fingernail on the hand that was holding it. Probably something on that menu could perform the necessary maintenance for your various leather goods, but the wrong setting might finish wrecking them, or do bad things to your actual flesh.
>If it does have medical properties, might be worth trying to collect some later, once we have containers for it.
Container would need to be something special, the stuff seems to either actively flee or go inert when scooped away from those arches set into the walls.
>>
No. 1040201 ID: 97a765

rolled 3, 13, 6, 3, 13, 6, 15, 2, 7, 18, 11, 20, 4, 19, 8, 14, 13, 4, 15, 5 = 199

>>1040044
Paprika crumbles her paper a bit in frustration, then lies face down on the quilts.

>"Are you all right? You look worse than I feel."
"Nn 'ink so." She says a few more words too muffled to comprehend.

>Hours rest
>"This morning we faced fire, this afternoon snow and a sphere of water, and tonight... I'm not even sure how to describe this place."
"It's been an eventful day! ...it's only been a day, right?"

>There's another occlusion, like a dark egg, large and nearby enough you can triangulate it just by walking around to different parts of the room ... Could probably get a better look at it if you lit a torch or glowglobe and/or climbed up there.
Paprika will climb up and get a closer look. "Could you hand me a torch, Nat?"

>metallic statue
>half-meter-wide hatch on top
Since she's already climbing around all over this room, Paprika will get up there and pop open the hatch.

>One such setting resharpens Paprika's sword.
Paprika will test the sharpness on some of her dried parchment.

>interface panel
Can we mess with the settings without standing in the fog, then experiment by throwing various materials through?

>Primary function seems to be cleaning.
"Ahh...hey I need a moment." Paprika will take the time to fireproof her belongings again once they're done experimenting in room 2.

In the first room, Paprika will use her charcoal to scribble a map on the floor, leaving a few black handprints here and there. In addition to the areas they've explored, she'll take notes on what the different settings on the interface panel in room 2 do.

She'll also take a closer look at those mushrooms in room 3, as well as the synth tanks. Are there any more interface panels in this room she can play with?
>>
No. 1040203 ID: 287555

rolled 5, 9, 20, 6, 8, 7, 1, 4, 6, 11, 3, 15, 5, 6, 11, 7, 13, 20, 8, 7 = 172

>Familiar constellations around the horizon, most of which wouldn't normally be visible at this time of year, plus central sections that are never visible in the part of the world you're from.
"Far from home... but at least not somewhere stranger."

>Not just grinding it like a whetstone, but actually adding new material, filling an old notch in one edge... plus scalpel-like extension to a fingernail on the hand that was holding it.
"Ah, excellent, we've discovered where we can get our nails done. That's one necessity taken care of then!" Natalina jokes. (She's not going to stick her family blade in their right now, though).

>Interface panel in the wall nearby (inconveniently far above eye level) seems to be for calibration or supplementary effects.
>Probably something on that menu could perform the necessary maintenance for your various leather goods, but the wrong setting might finish wrecking them, or do bad things to your actual flesh.
>Can we mess with the settings without standing in the fog, then experiment by throwing various materials through?
Perhaps we should save further experimentation until after we locate a stool or ladder, or some other means of getting a good look at the control panel? If we accidentally change the settings to something harmful (say, changing what the fog disintegrates) that could leave us trapped on one side.

>Paprika will climb up and get a closer look. "Could you hand me a torch, Nat?"
Natalina will pass Paprika a torch from the explorer's pack the glaive left on the ground when she started climbing.

>She'll also take a closer look at those mushrooms in room 3, as well as the synth tanks.
Natalina will join in examining the equipment in the third room (after Paprika is done climbing around the first room). If it's some kind of laboratory or storage, it might be a source of edible food or other useful materials we have in short supply. (Once again, training, Understanding and potentially an inability apply, and maybe teamwork?) Identifying the stuff in the synth containers, especially.
>>
No. 1040231 ID: f57349

>>1040201
>>1040203
>Paprika will climb up and get a closer look. "Could you hand me a torch, Nat?"
Between low gravity and abundant handholds, climbing up is easy enough. Most of it is solid metal, but the top surface of the rim just below the "dome" seems to be padded with a ridged pattern of soft synth. Raise the torch more than a handspan above that level, flame goes out - not flickering from a strong wind, but almost instantly, as if you'd shoved it through thin ice into a lake. Pull back and it reignites.

Natalina, down below, got a better look at the "dark egg." Flat surface rather than curved, bulky hinge mechanism at the bottom.

> If we accidentally change the settings to something harmful (say, changing what the fog disintegrates) that could leave us trapped on one side.
It seems to revert to default settings if left alone for a few minutes.

>She'll also take a closer look at those mushrooms in room 3,
Rather than spores, the gills under the cap seem to serve more like the gills of a fish, for gas exchange. Smoke from the torch gets visibly slurped into one of them.
>Are there any more interface panels in this room she can play with?
Nothing fancy.
>as well as the synth tanks.
Simple enough mechanism. Met an aeon priest once using something similar to train rats. Tricky part is figuring out what you'll be getting.

Each cylinder has a pattern of raised bumps and ridges, nearly invisible from a distance or in bad light but possible to read by touch. Most of them are focused around a geometric diagram, paired with simplified heraldic images of animals, plants, and/or monsters. Diagram section includes no long curved lines, only straight segments between tiny symbols (lots of repetition among those, possibly single letters from an unfamiliar alphabet) at well defined points, which, along with the overall circular layout of the room and night-sky dome nearby, suggests a code based on astrology... but what depraved prior-world madman would split up the zodiac into nearly a thousand segments and try to keep track of separate symbolism for each of them? Oddly high proportion of perfect pentagons and hexagons, too, where you'd expect naturally visible stars to occur at less convenient angles. Also, some of the lines are doubled or even tripled, and others are actually long narrow solid triangles.

First container you checked is labeled with a stylized ear of maize, and a constellation that looks somewhat like a pentagonal sea turtle being stabbed in the armpit. Green slime inside turns out to be dense, viscous, sticky, almost painfully sweet, but can at least loosely approximate proper food. http://www.thecodelesscode.com/case/155 No obvious signs of acute toxicity, though eating a whole bowlful at once (the dispenser mechanism squirts it out in globs of uniform size, about a quarter-kilogram each) leaves you jittery, manic, and mildly nauseous.
>>
No. 1040232 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 15, 6, 12, 13, 2, 17, 2, 19, 5, 14, 6, 20, 3, 17, 6, 9, 10, 12, 17, 5 = 210

>>1040080
Mask is pretty thrilled at the discovery of the laser falcons- and equally torn when they turn at the appearance of the shinspinners. Their mind races- I have to avoid death by automaton, but they can fly, potentially faster than I can run. That means we have to hope we can turn them off. The key ring the shinspinners have? Looks like if I rush them, they'll spring a trap, so I can't go in. Have to get them to come to me. Block off the entrance, get them to rush forward? Fire, maybe?

"Warlock! Can you peer into their minds? I'm going to try and draw them towards us, but they'll likely scatter! Capture if you can, heavy gloves, grab and pacify! I don't relish the thought of killing scared animals trying to keep their dens safe, and they're like to be less of a threat out in the open, so long as we keep our wits. Who knows, they might even be tamable!"

>>1037575
>As for equipment, only thing I really want that's not on the list yet is wine and oil. Seems like the kind of things that might come in handy in a dangerous place.

As per this post, Mask should have some oil- going to chuck it at the ground behind the shinspinners and then aim to strike a blow on the electrical cables with my lucerne hammer. Goal is to create a shower of sparks that ignites the oil, cutting off the obvious escape route and hopefully pushing the creatures out of the tunnels towards us, or at least panicking them enough to disrupt whatever their plan of attack is. They probably have some sort of secret tunnels, but if I can flush them into the open...

Applying a level of speed effort since that seems applicable when accuracy and reaction speed are the most important parts here. Medium armor only increases that by 1 instead of 2, thanks to armor training, and speed edge 1 reduces that back down to 0, so it should cost 3 points flat, putting pool totals at 8/13m, 9/12s, 9/9i

Bookkeeping wise, I'm accepting the GM incursion and gifting 1xp to Eliznyabeth. I'm going to spend 4xp to increase might edge to 2. That should put Mask at 5 remaining xp, out of 9 total earned.
>>
No. 1040243 ID: f57349

>>1040201
>Since she's already climbing around all over this room, Paprika will get up there and pop open the hatch.
>rolled 3
>rolled 5
>inability at understanding numenera
Space for a human to climb inside, and extensive controls... which are mostly unresponsive. Maybe some core system is broken or depleted, or maybe you just can't figure out how to unlatch the parking brake. Further attempts are possible but will require at least one level of Intellect effort.
>>
No. 1040263 ID: e5709d

rolled 12, 12, 4, 18, 4, 2, 1, 8, 7, 16, 5, 12, 20, 11, 17, 8, 6, 16, 1, 17 = 197

After negotiations are finalized, the meat is properly seasoned and stored, and Eliznyabeth is sufficiently distracted from renovating new porches, Reiko decides to fix her arm with the local workshop. (Intellect, 1 Effort)
>>
No. 1040274 ID: 287555

rolled 12, 20, 14, 11, 8, 3, 9, 6, 2, 1, 13, 18, 10, 17, 12, 18, 11, 20, 9, 6 = 220

>Raise the torch more than a handspan above that level, flame goes out - not flickering from a strong wind, but almost instantly, as if you'd shoved it through thin ice into a lake. Pull back and it reignites.
Natalina gulps. "I... don't think there's any air up there."

>No obvious signs of acute toxicity, though eating a whole bowlful at once (the dispenser mechanism squirts it out in globs of uniform size, about a quarter-kilogram each) leaves you jittery, manic, and mildly nauseous.
"Ugh. Well that was hardly pleasant, but at least we're not going to starve anytime soon. I'll have to work to translate these markings later, try to identify what ingredients are safe." Judging by the height of the control panel, whatever previous world-er built this place wasn't human, so not everything dispensed in this kitchen of cafeteria may be safe to consume. Hopefully they can figure out better meals than blobs of corn-sugar-goo.

Next up... let's check room 4. How or with what was the blocked door barricaded with? Does it look like there was an attempt to force the door from the other side? Does the barricaded door have window? Not clearing the barricade yet- whoever did this had reason to do so, and either left by other means... or is those corpses nearby.

Examining the tools: are they in useable condition or suffering from rust and a lack of maintenance? Are they sized for human hands? Scavenging a set of portable tools might be a good idea.

After that, let's examine the plumbing. Anything inside the pink ice? Any sign of controls or valves? Does the equipment appear damaged?

Still applying Understanding on each task one by one, and training hasn't changed.
>>
No. 1040304 ID: f57349

>>1040263
All five points of inorganic damage are successfully repaired, at the cost of one unit of parts.
>>
No. 1040321 ID: f57349
File 165993097006.png - (556.62KB , 1053x561 , Steel Angel.png )
1040321

>>1040274
>After that, let's examine the plumbing. Anything inside the pink ice? Any sign of controls or valves? Does the equipment appear damaged?
>rolled 14
Thinking back to some of Reiko's rants about tumor rationing, you realize it's a bioreactor - sort of basic workshop for modifications to living flesh - which has been frozen to minimize maintenance needs during long-term disuse. No obvious damage, though it's hard to be sure when you've never seen one before. To check for subtler problems you'd presumably need to thaw it out, start it up, run a test project, and compare results to some known-good baseline.

>Examining the tools: are they in useable condition or suffering from rust and a lack of maintenance? Are they sized for human hands? Scavenging a set of portable tools might be a good idea.
>rolled 20
Lathe works fine. Handgrips are awkwardly oversized, but not unmanageable - reminiscent of the chainpod controls, actually. Feels almost like you're a little kid again, messing around in the kitchen. Ten minutes and 200 lb of raw materials later you've built yourself a stepladder and satisfactory set of portable crafting tools.

>How or with what was the blocked door barricaded with? Does it look like there was an attempt to force the door from the other side? Does the barricaded door have window?
>rolled 12
Thin, flexible sheet of clear synth (same sort of bag you could buy for two shins at almost any marketplace back in the Steadfast, but cut open and spread out flat), held at the corners by hand-sized diagonal strips of bright pink adhesive synth, sealed around the edges with a trail of lumpy golden-brown stuff that's somewhere between wood, fungus, and extremely stale pastry, then backed up by a stack of heavy barrels and crates which are in turn strapped down with more pink tape.
Don't seem to have been any serious attempts to force through - based on accounts of your family's history, damage from a failed siege leaves patterns of successive disruption and reinforcement or refinement, like waves, tides, and storms on the shore, while this looks more like it was laid down all in one go.
If there's a window near the middle of the door, you can't reach it without moving the crates. Some gaps around the edges might be possible to peek through, but you're not sure if they're blocked by something or it's just really dark on the other side.
A flickering light says that "the shelter-in-place order has not yet..."
>rolled 11
Oh, crap, something snuck up behind you! Looks like the bastard spawn of forbidden romance between a steel spider and some fancy footstool or end-table.
>>
No. 1040358 ID: f57349

>>1040201
>pop the hatch
>I'm fine with spending intellect, though my pool's not huge to begin with
Climbing inside, Paprika can't quite figure out how to get the five-meter-tall machine actually moving, but manages to persuade a viewscreen to light up. It fills the pilot's field of view, showing immediate surroundings clear as day, but luridly color-shifted and with cryptic annotations. More and more detail emerges wherever focus lingers for more than a moment. Wires behind the walls, Natalina's heart beating inside her chest.
Through the dome on the ceiling... it's not a dome. That distant disc eclipsing the sun, isn't the moon.
You can see the Clock of Kala, the Black Riage, Cerdyn's Pass. The Eye of the Sea is like a tiny chip of sapphire on a dark rugged face peeking out between underbrush, cheekbone to the north still blushing with volcanic heat.

It would seem you traveled here in a straight line.
>>
No. 1040413 ID: 97a765

rolled 16, 11, 11, 19, 19, 18, 10, 16, 18, 19, 14, 7, 11, 8, 8, 14, 5, 18, 6, 19 = 267

Well...I'll leave the mech for now.

>Natalina, down below, got a better look at the "dark egg." Flat surface rather than curved, bulky hinge mechanism at the bottom.
And it's outside the pressurized area of the room? Paprika can't reach it with her spear can she?

>"Ah, excellent, we've discovered where we can get our nails done. That's one necessity taken care of then!"
Paprika's sunny disposition starts to return. "Oh and I love the look. You think we can figure out how to make it do the rest of our fingers?"

>It would seem you traveled here in a straight line.
>Natalina gulps. "I... don't think there's any air up there."
"I think it's a good bet that's where we came in." Paprika twirls as she drops back down to the floor, "Well Nat, it looks like we're really lucky to be alive!"

>Rather than spores, the gills under the cap seem to serve more like the gills of a fish, for gas exchange. Smoke from the torch gets visibly slurped into one of them.
What happens if Paprika jabs one with her sword?

>"Ugh. Well that was hardly pleasant, but at least we're not going to starve anytime soon ..."
"I was a little worried we'd have to eat the dead aliens, so this is a relief."

>"... I'll have to work to translate these markings later, try to identify what ingredients are safe."
>Ten minutes and 200 lb of raw materials later you've built yourself a stepladder and satisfactory set of portable crafting tools.
Paprika marvels at how quickly Natalina is picking all this up. "I'll try to help however I can. Soairse was kinda the brains of our operation."

Paprika decides to start up a conversation while Natalina is working. "So back on...the ground, you said something about eel men? Your family history sounds really interesting."

>investigating the barricade
>Oh, crap, something snuck up behind you!
Paprika's hair ribbon shrivels into ash when she activates her halo, and her long waist-length locks escape their braids and float and billow, lighter than air, glowing white hot and leaving thin purple streaks across the vision. "Hold it!" She moves between Natalina and the spider, gripping her spear, and waits for it to make an aggressive move before she strikes.
>>
No. 1040415 ID: 287555

rolled 14, 7, 18, 12, 13, 17, 17, 9, 12, 19, 11, 14, 8, 16, 5, 16, 14, 3, 1, 7 = 233

>Thin, flexible sheet of clear synth (same sort of bag you could buy for two shins at almost any marketplace back in the Steadfast, but cut open and spread out flat), held at the corners by hand-sized diagonal strips of bright pink adhesive synth, sealed around the edges with a trail of lumpy golden-brown stuff that's somewhere between wood, fungus, and extremely stale pastry
An attempt to create an air-tight seal? Whoever put that up might have been concerned about disease, or gas, or... a lack of air on the other side.

>Oh, crap, something snuck up behind you! Looks like the bastard spawn of forbidden romance between a steel spider and some fancy footstool or end-table.
>A flickering light says that "the shelter-in-place order has not yet..."
From behind the suddenly-glowing Paprika, Natalina will attempt communication- if the machine is transmitting, perhaps it can be reasoned with... and hopefully not trigger a blinding headache? She'll try flashing reflected Paprika-light (she's now the brightest thing in the room) in a quick request for identification and intent. Short and to the point, since human-hand semaphore is comparatively slow.

No time for Understanding, but maybe training in Persuasion applies.
>>
No. 1040418 ID: f57349

>>1040413
>Paprika can't reach it with her spear can she?
Could easily enough reach out and touch the lower quarter, maybe third or so, with one end of the spear, while keeping hands and head safely inside the region where fire can burn normally. Feels like hard metal, mostly smooth. Could plausibly be the same stuff as the walls and floor, maybe with a different paint job and/or in odd light...
>trained in all tasks involving physical performing arts
...except that tapping on it is quieter than expected. Good solid whack which ought to have set it ringing like a gong is barely audible, even with one ear pressed right up against the ceiling below the hinge. That sound persists pretty well once you can hear it at all, though, so there can't just be some squishy thing on the opposite side muffling the drumhead.
>What happens if Paprika jabs one [of the mushroom gills] with her sword?
A flake of pale, slightly porous synth, about the right size and shape to use as notepaper, snaps off somewhere inside, then falls out like a loose tooth. Mildly annoying intermittent whistling noise from the thin gap where it was.

>Paprika's hair ribbon shrivels into ash when she activates her halo, and her long waist-length locks escape their braids and float and billow, lighter than air, glowing white hot and leaving thin purple streaks across the vision. "Hold it!" She moves between Natalina and the spider,
It holds perfectly still for three tenths of a second. Then the current room's lights abruptly shut off (dispenser-tube room is still lit, can't be sure about the black velvet room at a glance since it was dim already) and spiderbutler vomits a stream of icy froth at both of you.
>rolled 16, 11
Paprika easily dodges the initial jet. Then, rather than splashing against the wall behind her, the froth slows in midair, spreads out, and coheres into a swarm of white butterflies... or perhaps it would be more correct to call them moths, since they actively seek out fire. At point-blank range, with clutter limiting space in which to dance and a continuous spray from the original source still coming, she can't quite escape them all. Six Might damage from hypothermia, reduced to 5 by armor.
>rolled 14, 7
Natalina also manages to evade the direct spray, thanks in part to being slightly further away and Paprika providing cover. Fluttering follow-up extinguishes the torch she was carrying, from which ice-moth residue drips down onto her hand for two Might damage, reduced to 1 by armor.

>>1040415
>request for identification and intent
>rolled 18
Rather than a name, the mechanical end-table replies with a hierarchical title (hard to translate across cultural contexts, maybe somewhere between "bosun" and "abbot"), seniority in units of 1.008*10^-8 of a sidereal day (total value given is within an order of magnitude of your own age, not sure of much beyond that without taking a few more moments to think), and some sort of training certification from a trade guild you've never heard of. Seems to be trying to establish chain of command for purposes of dealing with an emergency.
>>
No. 1040422 ID: 97a765

rolled 2, 8, 6, 4, 2, 4, 1, 1, 4, 17, 18, 12, 12, 4, 20, 4, 7, 1, 5, 14 = 146

>>1040418
>spiderbutler vomits a stream of icy froth at both of you.
Paprika will try to scrap the spiderbutler. Might effort for extra hit chance.
>>
No. 1040449 ID: e5709d

rolled 2, 9, 9, 17, 4, 8, 18, 4, 16, 8, 4, 5, 5, 12, 17, 14, 2, 18, 8, 8 = 188

With negotiations steady at the moment, Reiko uses her spare time to craft another temperamental cypher.
>>
No. 1040450 ID: 287555

rolled 19, 19, 7, 17, 8, 11, 2, 3, 12, 7, 8, 16, 10, 2, 6, 20, 2, 3, 12, 14 = 198

"Ah!" Natalina winces, dropping the now-inert torch. "...fire suppression response?"

>Seems to be trying to establish chain of command for purposes of dealing with an emergency.
First responder protocols? Assume one is the highest ranked survivor until one encounters a superior.

Natalina draws herself to her full (not great) height, glaring with indignation at the fire-fighting sub-abbot. "I speak with the authority of generations of leaders, and- with the deputized authority of the space rock defense force!" The arkus calls out as she begins signaling a similar (more concise) light-missive, attempting to assert a higher hierarchal rank, hopefully before Paprika risks shutting off their remaining light source to avoid further heat-seeking ice-moths missiles. "Stand down!"
>>
No. 1040451 ID: f57349

>>1040449
Level 1 gravity-nullifying spray. You can permanently reduce a single nonliving object's weight by 50 lb, with a minimum of zero in most cases. If the target is of sufficiently homogenous composition, could be used to produce as much as 60 shins worth of floatstone, though you'd then need some way to hold it down or it would drift off into the sky.

Applying the spray to a block of wax which was then molded into candles, or glass or clay to be shaped into small containers, would let you portion it out to send several smaller "message in a bottle" packages to Paprika and Natalina, wherever they ended up, simply by "dropping" from the point where they were launched. However, absent an actual guidance system or some other clever trick to correct for variability in high-altitude winds, having the package end up close enough for them to actually find it would be subject to the same challenges as making a ranged attack against a distant, invisible target.
>>
No. 1040454 ID: f57349

>>1040422
>scrap the spiderbutler
>rolled 2
Low gravity throws off footwork, so that what was intended as a step forward and thrust to a vulnerable-looking spot becomes a hop into the air and awkward overhead swing which it barely even needs to dodge.
>rolled 8, 6, 4, 2
Paprika gets hit again, five more damage.
>>1040450
"Ackn. With regard to maneuvers necessary for avoidance of high-velocity impact, you have precedence. For ongoing damage control in this area, I have precedence. Please instruct your subordinate to stop panicking and,"
There is a noticeable gap but no 'message ends' designation.
"emitting flammable gas? Or otherwise being on fire."
>>
No. 1040482 ID: 97a765

rolled 3, 11, 20, 1, 5, 18, 17, 18, 1, 11, 20, 6, 8, 2, 19, 15, 3, 2, 1, 5 = 186

>>1040454
Paprika halts her clumsy assault but she doesn't drop her shroud. "What? Tell it to turn the lights back on first."
>>
No. 1040483 ID: e5709d

rolled 16, 12, 7, 2, 16, 14, 6, 13, 1, 6, 16, 4, 14, 11, 9, 12, 17, 9, 19, 17 = 221

With the negotiations finished and Reiko's new toy spray complete, Reiko addresses Eliznyabeth, Elanyah, and her bodyguard.
"Where are Paprika and Natalina? I was busy chasing them and they went straight for you. We need to make sure they're safe."
>>
No. 1040499 ID: aa8cad

rolled 8, 15, 16, 14, 14, 3, 5, 4, 12, 20, 10, 18, 16, 8, 16, 2, 2, 4, 6, 15 = 208

>>1040413
>"I think it's a good bet that's where we came in." Paprika twirls as she drops back down to the floor, "Well Nat, it looks like we're really lucky to be alive!"
"Even if the... skylight is open above, something must have caught us." The arkus replies with a small frown. "We would have been much worse for the wear 'falling' to this floor at speed."

Could the mystery egg/hatch be/include/provide some manner of net or capture mechanism (perhaps invisibly, like the helm Reiko constructed)? That might make sense if machines like the augmech they found are meant to disembark from and return to this room.

>Paprika decides to start up a conversation while Natalina is working. "So back on...the ground, you said something about eel men? Your family history sounds really interesting."
Natalina visibly brightens at the invitation to speak on one of her favorite topics. "Oh, they are." The next ten minutes are filled with energetic and romanticized rambling on tales of past exceptionalism, heroism, and honor. "The eelfolk were part of a trade agreement, oh, two centuries back? 'Reverse honey' was involved, though surviving records aren't clear on what that was and I haven't been able to find the waterway named in the route on modern maps." She muses as she pulls a completed hammer off the lathe.

" ...of course we haven't held a position of nobility since great-grandfather's time." Natalina sighs. "My parents are merchants. And, ah," she makes a wordless noise of frustration. "I just want the world to see what we can do again."

>>1040454
"Paprika, the uh, firefighting automaton, whishes for you to stop being on fire.

"Are you all right? You took the brunt of that."
>>
No. 1040614 ID: f57349

>>1040482
Jet of foam sputters to a stop, then the automaton half-kneels and rams its rounded head into Paprika's solar plexus, hard enough to knock the wind out of her and send her flying into an adjacent room. She bounces off a black velvet wall and lands in warm, chest-deep water.
XP from the GM intrusion, and impaired due to Might zero. Could climb out of the pool and keep doing things, but spiderbutler doesn't seem to be making further aggressive moves, and you're shivering uncontrollably, so to lay back and relax in the hot tub for at least an hour also feels like an option worth considering.
>>
No. 1040621 ID: 287555

rolled 8, 16, 15, 7, 16, 20, 15, 15, 15, 18, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 4, 5, 1, 17, 20 = 245

After checking if Paprika is all right (a little more frantically than previously posted), and assuming the spider-abbot is willing to cease hostilities while the glaive doses her corona, Natalina has questions for their... host? She'll translate the conversation for Paprika's benefit, and any questions she has to add, as well.

> I'm sorry I should have asked this sooner, how many colors and polarizations can you distinguish?
If Natalina managed to talk Reiko or Grundlehaven into providing a mechanical description of the limitations of the human eyeball to Elanya, the blonde is going to do her best to restate that information before asking additional questions, and hopefully avoid a second laser-induced information-overload migraine.

-Do they speak the Truth, or any other languages? (That is, uh, Truth the language, usually conveyed using sonic vibrations, not the veracity of statements). Her subordinate doesn't speak Light, and her own translation module will need to recharge eventually.
-What information can they share about the nature and extent of the current emergency?
-This isn't our normal operational area. Can they describe the purpose or use of these rooms, or provide a map? (Chambers devoted to providing safe shelter or amenities for sustaining organic life are of particular interest to us, for obvious reasons).
-Do they know the route to the beanstalk—the structure connecting this location to the planetary surface? Or to vehicles capable of reaching the surface?
-Are there any important rules relating to this sector we should know?

And of course, the pertinent quest:
>In essence, I am looking to hire a courier. Across the Black Riage, halfway to the Clock of Kala, you'll find the Light'ning Beanstalk, where it is said - though this was before my time, so I cannot vouch for the historicity of the account - Jack the First stole nitrogen-fixing bacteria from a giant whose castle was built above the clouds. That castle's ruins are still present, or some structure which could reasonably be mistaken for them. A ship may be docked there which can take you the rest of the way, or if not, materials to build one."
-Forecasting has predicted an extremely large, high velocity-impact will occur in the next several decades if it is not intercepted in advance. Are they aware of a ship docked here, or the location of ship-fabrication facilities?
>>
No. 1040643 ID: 97a765

rolled 11, 3, 16, 7, 17, 16, 10, 19, 16, 12, 10, 6, 7, 5, 2, 3, 3, 9, 4, 6 = 182

>"I just want the world to see what we can do again."
"Well I think you'll be the one to show them. Have any plans for your castle?"

>encounter
>"Are you all right? You took the brunt of that."
Now that the excitement of combat has died down a bit, Paprika almost-whispers in a shuddery voice, "I think so. One of those blankets would be- OOF!"

>the automaton half-kneels and rams its rounded head into Paprika's solar plexus, hard enough to knock the wind out of her and send her flying into an adjacent room.
>checking if Paprika is all right (a little more frantically than previously posted)
>you're shivering uncontrollably, so to lay back and relax in the hot tub for at least an hour also feels like an option worth considering.

Paprika surfaces pale and bedraggled, with her ego perhaps even more injured than her body. When she's finally able to speak, she says in maybe the most pathetic voice Natalina's ever heard, "I'm going to stay here and float for a little while if that's okay."

>She'll translate the conversation for Paprika's benefit, and any questions she has to add, as well.
Paprika will ask if there's a way to communicate with their friends below.
>>
No. 1040650 ID: aa8cad

>>1040643
> Paprika surfaces pale and bedraggled, with her ego perhaps even more injured than her body. When she's finally able to speak, she says in maybe the most pathetic voice Natalina's ever heard, "I'm going to stay here and float for a little while if that's okay."
Natalina will delicately sit down on the catwalk besides the pool during the discussion, and offer Paprika her hand (her right, with her left still being used to communicate in reflected-light-semaphore as needed).
>>
No. 1040727 ID: 131daa

rolled 6, 10, 9, 8, 20, 3, 7, 12, 9, 18, 20, 4, 19, 18, 16, 3, 8, 19, 10, 5 = 224

Eliznyabeth, for her part, was perhaps showing more generosity that was entirely wise. She similarly had indulged more on 'samples' of the meat in the curing process than was perhaps wise, having reasoned that whatever she would take from it in such small doses would be insignificant next to the about 6,000 pounds she brought in and also that she was the one who hunted it.

That was an accurate assumption, but the fact that she was laid out on a couch with a stomach ache from having eaten almost 5 pounds of meat in a single sitting is a testament to the folly of her hubris.

"Yeah, go ahead and take the money and just pay off whatever debts the town has and give them the rest to pay for that plan they have, it's not like I'm actually using it for anything else." She would say, handing off the check of credit to the Elenyah.

>>1040483
"Oh, fuck, people are missing?"
>>
No. 1040882 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 15, 2, 13, 2, 16, 6, 1, 17, 8, 2, 16, 20, 5, 6, 12, 7, 4, 6, 15, 8 = 181

> Warlock can you help with the shinspinners

Oh can he? Presumed unsentient spider beasts the lot of them and one just so happens to have the keys we will likely be needin to get some progress going.

"Warlock...*mumbles grumbles* not much use carin about things trying to kill ya if I have my say of things!"

Mumbling grumbling moaning and groaning Grundle probably makes too big of a fuss over monster sympathisers but non the less pulls out his WEB DETONATION CYPHER. He either runs into the group and has it detonate or throws it and had it dedonate depending on the physical limitations of the cyper. im assuming by owning it he would know it

"Also no use in trying to control em. Not sapient as far as i know. Me magic aint limitless"

Grundle does however try to use Hedge Magic (-1 intellect) to yoink those keys away from the one of em.
>>
No. 1040929 ID: f57349

The PCs are currently split up into three groups:

Reiko, Eliznyabeth, the chainpods, Elanyah and her mobile embassy, Mia Xan the diplomat, and at least fifty locals are back down in the half-ruined town of Hallux, preserving meat for longer-term storage and hammering out the rough draft of a treaty with the King Under the Mountain. Literally hammering - official copies need to be engraved in wolframite tablets with sapphire and refractory synth inlay, to stay legible while immersed in molten rock. Elanyah has broad authority to negotiate on her employer's behalf, but that's at least partly because the sublithene lacks a long-range comm system, so distant micromanagement is impossible. Such a treaty can't really be considered final until it's been seen and read, and ideally given some formal endorsement, by the actual magma-dwelling leaders.

If all continues to go well, most of the haggling over trade concessions and border definitions and so on should be settled, and quantium sufficient for construction of the farspeaking pylon delivered, in four or five weeks. Then it might take a few more weeks to build.
>>
No. 1040930 ID: f57349

Saoirse, "Old" Grundlehaven Havespont, "Mask," and a ring of six recently-unearthed sinister hovering orbs are raiding the shinspinner nest under the Eye of the Sea. (That's 15 miles away from Hallux as the xi-drake flies - uphill is a hard all-day trip for a normal person with a full backpack or aneen-drawn wagon, or half an hour by chainpod. Downhill on foot was recently shown to be possible inside three hours for someone agile, lightly laden, and intensely motivated). One of the shinspinners has a key ring which prompted the orbs to switch sides, while others are rushing to activate traps and an emplaced artillery piece, so that's likely to be either a tough fight or a hasty retreat. They're currently the furthest back on the timeline, mid-afternoon.

Aram the Stablemaster and Tayle the Chirurgeon are also nearby, along with about twenty other locals and two aneen - one still hitched to a wagon, the other a dwarf albino known as "whitesides" who follows Aram everywhere. They're mostly busy recovering from the hike or making preparations for other incoming refugees, not directly participating in dungeon exploration.

>>1040232
"Mask" sprints all the way to the far side of the room by applying speed effort to fleet of foot, then splashes foul-smelling oil in a thick perpendicular line which ends at a sparking rat's-nest of copper wire. Dodges between most of the gazer beams, aided by distance. Armor feels uncomfortably warm in a few spots but no damage penetrates.
Moments later, oil ignites and roaring flames fill the room's northwest exit, blocking off direct route toward point H. Only apparent path for shinspinners to flee now is by leaving the way you came in... but they don't seem very interested in retreat just yet.

>>1040882
>web detonation cypher
>rolled 15
Entire set of orbs are stuck, as is the shinspinner holding the keys. Acrid fumes rise where angry red light touches gluey strands, but it'll definitely hold for at least a few minutes (better than some rocks managed!), and more importantly the orbs can't pivot far enough to focus beams in the right spots for an efficient escape.
>Hedge Magic to yoink
>rolled 2
Unfortunately that means the keyring is also firmly glued to the floor.

Saoirse flicks a series of razor-sharp playing cards at the shinspinner overhead, delaying it and inflicting injury while "Mask's" pet lizard climbs up to intercept.

Conch cannon extrudes a toroidal ring of curdled light which becomes narrower and brighter as it glides through the air, from dull smoky orange to yellowish-green to a searing azure that briefly reveals bone structure inside whichever hand is instinctively raised to shield eyes. At the point where it stops, a thunderclap. Everything within a three meter radius takes 8 damage before armor. Mask and the lizard are out of the AoE, but that includes Grundle and Saoirse unless they manage a level 5 speed defense task. Loose items across the whole room are briefly tugged toward the blast.
>>
No. 1040931 ID: f57349

Paprika and Natalina are tens of thousands of miles up beyond the sky, and a comparatively trifling distance to the northeast, at the local equivalent of a hotel.

>This isn't our normal operational area. Can they describe the purpose or use of these rooms, or provide a map? (Chambers devoted to providing safe shelter or amenities for sustaining organic life are of particular interest to us, for obvious reasons).
Yes, this is a flesh shelter. Rated life support capacity divided by baseline human requirements is ten, but redundancies and stockpiles mean that under crisis conditions, a thousand could be crammed in for two or three weeks with reasonable expectation the vast majority would survive, or a hundred for at least a year.

Parking garage, decontamination spiral, refreshment dispensers, business center, rest area, toilets, storage vault. Business center's topstation-interior-access door is currently barricaded due to the shelter-in-place order.

>Do they speak the Truth, or any other languages? (That is, uh, Truth the language, usually conveyed using sonic vibrations, not the veracity of statements). Her subordinate doesn't speak Light, and her own translation module will need to recharge eventually.
No direct familiarity with Truth, but recognizes some loan-words from Classical Uxphonese. Could spend 2xp to say you happen to already know Uxphonese, in which case you'll be able to converse normally - and in the actual city of Uxphon too of course, on the off chance you ever go there. (It's a rank 4 community, built in and around a canyon tangled with ancient plumbing, on the side of the Black Riage facing the Cloudcrystal Skyfields. Several hundred miles north of Cerdyn's Pass, past Legrash or the Amber Monolith, halfway to Gaian territory.) Alternatively, could spend a month learning the basics at no XP cost, in between some other long-term activity.

"Didn't want to make a fuss about it during damage control, but your Light accent is just awful - like an off-the-shelf format-conversion submodule, with barely any personal idiomatic refactor, choking on an improvised transciever with three-digit actuator ping times."

Similar options open to Paprika, though the innkeeper got a less favorable first impression.
"Oh, I'm sorry, is setting yourself on fire your culture's standard signal for 'no further service needed, everything is fine'?"

>Are there any important rules relating to this sector we should know?
Four nearly identical cylinders clustered around a mushroom-table on the ceiling, filled with liquids so colorless you initally thought they were empty:
"This is oxygen hydride. You need it to live, but too much of the pure form without correct drit will rot your teeth."
"This is a mixture of oxygen hydride and carbonyl hydride. The smell can burn, or make you sick. If you drink it you will almost certainly die."
"This is methyl hydroxide. It burns easily. The smell is adequately safe, but if you drink it you will almost certainly go blind, and perhaps die."
"This is ethyl hydroxide. It burns almost as easily, will addict, too much causes crabmeat of the liver, but adequately safe for recreational drinking."
Steel angel skitters over to the far wall, indicates a tube of red gravel.
"This is human-safe drit substitute. Crush one pellet into each bowl of pure oxygen hydride."
Finally it directs you to a cylinder which Natalina initially skipped past, based on visual similarity between the contents and raw sewage. Constellation thereon is actually a few unconnected diagrams, including one resembling a chain or ladder implied to repeat indefinitely. Heraldry is a boxy, triangle-faced ungulate with horns like the crescent moon, standing amid a field of ripe wheat. Lumpy brown sludge inside turns out to be delicious slow-cooked beef stroganoff.

Natalina and Paprika get 1xp each for discovery by exploring the dispenser installation's range of options. Once you're finished with your food and drink (one way or another), that small polished-metal room is designed for disposing of waste materials, and generally providing personal hygiene a bit more nuanced than decontamination screens. Mechanism initially interpreted as a trap is actually an automated barber.

Room with black velvet walls and ball pit https://xkcd.com/150 usually has courtesy rules against whatever might result in sensory impressions which interfere with someone else's rest, but since the two of you have nobody to annoy but each other, that's largely moot.

Storage vault is off-limits to visitors. Already retrieved materials to restock the workshop while you were building that ladder, so if you need anything else, ask.

>What information can they share about the nature and extent of the current emergency?
Biocontaminant causing hemorrhagic fever. Treatable, often survivable even without treatment, but prevention preferred. A given patient either coughs up all their blood and dies within two weeks of initial symptoms, or recovers to the point of being non-contagious and permanently immune in four. Should be an all-clear announcement soon if it's coming at all.
It started "One minute, five and a half seconds in the immediate future," which is a figure of speech those fluent in Light, particularly automata, often use when they actually mean "long enough ago that I'm not qutte sure." Unless there's some other confounding factor (incomplete secondhand reports, temporal anomalies, brain damage), that almost never refers to anything more recent than thirty-nine days (65536 minutes).

>Do they know the route to the beanstalk—the structure connecting this location to the planetary surface? Or to vehicles capable of reaching the surface?
>Are they aware of a ship docked here, or the location of ship-fabrication facilities?
Easiest route would likely be by rail, and there's a rail station just two miles away... along the exterior. Local supply vault has a selection of protective equipment, some of which could fit you with minimal modification, but the steel-angel innkeeper is somewhat puzzled how you ended up here, alive, without bringing your own.

>Paprika will ask if there's a way to communicate with their friends below.
Chainpods have a... sawtoothed azure grapevine? An invisible machine channel for chatting with each other, which by itself has very limited range. There's a farspeaking pylon near here which could easily link to such grapevines, if they're within roughly two thousand miles of the Plains of Kataru (the known world and then some) and not e.g. underground or deep underwater or tucked away in an Otherspace or something. Under normal circumstances you could seamlessly relay through that nearby pylon, with one of those chairs in the business center as the actual interface, but it's on 'priority only' bandwidth rationing due to a hardware fault, possibly space-rock-related.

That's your department, as deputies, right? Just hop over, five miles in the opposite direction from the train station, patch whatever's wrong (which, if you're lucky, might be as simple as re-socketing a loose cable), and key in the relevant pod's unique 32-character ID code.
>>
No. 1040933 ID: f57349

>>1040483
That status update Eliznyabeth received while scouting ahead was a terse text message on the chainpod's dashboard, saying that Paprika and Natalina are alive, not in immediate danger, and significantly closer to the objective than was expected by this time. It didn't provide much further detail, but lots of bystanders can confirm they saw those two being launched into the sky.
>>
No. 1041022 ID: e5709d

rolled 19, 3, 2, 18, 4, 13, 12, 14, 10, 12, 14, 9, 1, 3, 7, 9, 12, 19, 4, 8 = 193

Reiko gets started on the disassembly of the Volcano Tamer, asking for Elanyah's assistance relaying the responses from the Volcano King. Having preserved this shoddy, complicated, and noisy machine for the past three months, her only regret is that she can't blow it up for catharsis.

Of course, she'll enjoy reverse-engineering its sub-functions and unlocking its true potential even more. A pity her former boss-hole is a pile of ashes; she'd enjoy dissecting his pride and joy while he's forced to watch.

Merely powering the device off without causing an eruption or giving the Volcano King indigestion will take a fair effort. But her new processing power lets her understand the 'instruction manual' made of floating pointers and ASCII binary.
(Intellect, Effort 1)
>>
No. 1041082 ID: 97a765

rolled 7, 5, 6, 13, 15, 8, 3, 9, 18, 1, 6, 5, 12, 17, 20, 19, 5, 12, 12, 17 = 210

>>1040650
>handholding
Paprika takes Natalina's hand and her expression shifts into a ragged smile. Small whisps of steam rise and swirl from her soaked skin.

>"Oh, I'm sorry, is setting yourself on fire your culture's standard signal for 'no further service needed, everything is fine'?"
Paprika responds to the light show before Natalina gets a chance to translate. "Well fuck you too. Walking trashcan..."

>one of those chairs in the business center as the actual interface
"The ones with the corpses in them? Can you ask it how they died?"

>Just hop over, five miles in the opposite direction from the train station, patch whatever's wrong (which, if you're lucky, might be as simple as re-socketing a loose cable), and key in the relevant pod's unique 32-character ID code.
"Sounds fun, but I gotta be real with you - I need a breather first. My paper is ruined too so we'll have to figure out another way to write the code down."
>>
No. 1041113 ID: 287555

rolled 14, 3, 15, 1, 19, 15, 10, 17, 16, 2, 10, 1, 1, 20, 15, 19, 16, 19, 5, 19 = 237

>Yes, this is a flesh shelter
"It would seem your earlier assessment was correct, Paprika.  We were exceedingly lucky to arrive here." 

>Could spend 2xp to say you happen to already know Uxphonese, in which case you'll be able to converse normally
Sure, let's go with that.  A city with well-established nobility and meritocratic upward mobility is the kind of thing that would have attracted Natalina's interest.

Natalina is quite relieved when she can switch from awkwardly reflecting light with one hand to actual speech...
>"Didn't want to make a fuss about it during damage control, but your Light accent is just awful - like an off-the-shelf format-conversion submodule, with barely any personal idiomatic refactor, choking on an improvised transciever with three-digit actuator ping times."
...as is their host, it would seem.  They're not wrong either, as attempting to 'speak' Light by flashing a hand-mirror in reflected light seems comparable to attempting to 'speak' by drumming one's hand on a table to produce audible words.

"I apologize for the disrespect." she replies in Uxphonese, inclining her head.  (And she'll continue translating into Truth for Paprika as needed).

>>"Oh, I'm sorry, is setting yourself on fire your culture's standard signal for 'no further service needed, everything is fine'?"
>Paprika responds to the light show before Natalina gets a chance to translate. "Well fuck you too. Walking trashcan..."
Natalina will opt not to accurately translate this line, however. "Threat display in the face of a stranger of unknown intentions, actually."

>Biocontaminant causing hemorrhagic fever.
So the sealed door in the 'business area' was in response to a disease.  That means exploring further down that path means gambling on it having burnt itself out... and likely earning the ire of the local innkeeper for breaking quarantine protocols.  And while one path risks disease, angry spider-abbots, and the loss of a safe space, the other available path risks hard vacuum.

>the steel-angel innkeeper is somewhat puzzled how you ended up here, alive, without bringing your own [protective equipment]
"As are we, to be honest.  Does the 'parking garage' perhaps contain some mechanism to safely catch someone arriving at high speeds?"

She'll also request the safety equipment from storage at the abbot's convenience. If provided, Natalina will spend some time familiarizing herself with it and it's use. (Applying Understanding).

>rail station 2 miles away, communication systems 5, along the exterior
Several hours of walking then (assuming the strange gravity here doesn't reduce their pace), faster if... "Oh".  A concerned expression crosses Natalina's face at the thought of applying Phase Sprint.  "You wouldn't happen to know if this facility exists beyond Euclidean dimensions?"

>"Sounds fun, but I gotta be real with you - I need a breather first. My paper is ruined too so we'll have to figure out another way to write the code down."
"It has been a long day, and we are fortunate enough to have arrived at a kind of inn."
>>
No. 1041181 ID: f57349

>"The ones with the corpses in them?
There are two other chairs currently unoccupied.
>Can you ask it how they died?"
"There was a discontinuity, and when I was reinitialized from backup they were already in that condition. Resuscitation may be possible so please do not disturb them."

>Does the 'parking garage' perhaps contain some mechanism to safely catch someone arriving at high speeds?"
Certainly not at full miss-the-ground speeds, but, if you were initially set on a suborbital ballistic arc by something along the lines of an overclocked gravy bowl... and then, given your respective anomalous capabilities, somehow continuously vented hot gas through an asymmetric phase-pocket plenum for both marginal life support and brachistochrone thrust... relative velocity at intercept could theoretically have been subsonic, while still within a slim window of overlap between 'time in transit' and 'traumatic abaryia survival time.' At that point, perimeter sandpipers and the garage's vapor screen might have brought you to a safe stop with only a few relatively minor miracles.

>the other available path risks hard vacuum
>request the safety equipment from storage
Protective option the spiderbutler presents first (with some passive-aggressive apologies about the engineering constraints imposed by Natalina and Paprika's powers) initially appears to be a comically oversized pair of fur-lined handcuffs.
Looking through either cuff from one direction reveals an empty fishbowl-shaped otherspace, less than a cubic foot. Stick your head in the hole and close the cuff around your neck, smart fluid flows out to cover the rest of your body, supplying breathable air, compression, and adequate protection from most concievable hazards, for... a while. Multiple days possible, but inadvisable without more data. Eight hours at 95% confidence, so try to stay within two or three hours' travel of shelter or resupply points.
Flip it over, there's a different space, possibly similar size but packed solid with coiled synth rope. Tether between the "helmets" can extend or retract from either end at 3 m/s without interfering with closed-circuit audio. Liquid armor distributes shocks across the whole body so any yank or impact is like a perfect water landing.

View from inside the otherspace helmets is similar to wearing strong prescription glasses - in Paprika's case, the exact ones she didn't know she needed, providing an asset to visual perception of anything more than an immediate distance away from Natalina.
Natalina, however, takes a similar penalty, with anything outside potential reach of Paprika's flames refusing to come into sharp focus. The two can see each other normally, but to anyone else, and reflective surfaces, looks like their heads are missing.

A level 4 artifact overall, so 4 xp will be split between the two of you once you've accomplished something useful with it.
>>
No. 1041328 ID: aa8cad

rolled 19, 16, 13, 6, 12, 6, 15, 9, 18, 11, 20, 8, 12, 6, 5, 13, 2, 2, 9, 6 = 208

"Form fitting, headless... wear these without anything else underneath and we would be fulfilling someone's fetish, I'm sure."

>Resuscitation may be possible so please do not disturb them.
Natalina mutters something quietly—a prayer for the departed?—before answering. "Your optimism and commitment to a duty-of-care are to commended, at least."

Before the not-quite marooned duo turn in for the night (can one truly be stranded if one stumbles across an operational and still-staffed prior-world inn?) Natalina will attempt to prepare for the journey they're planning tomorrow. First, she'll return to the spiral, step ladder in tow, and examine the control panel. Is it possible to set it to ignore or whitelist the fire-proofing chemical Paprika uses? It would save needing to spend time reapplying the treatment to everything she owns, coming and going. Could be tested by, perhaps, lobbing some treated synth balls from the recreational room.

She'll also examine the augmech Paprika examined earlier—perhaps her education will provide some additional insight into its operation?

Applying Understanding to both tasks, the Understanding Numenera disability most likely applies in both cases, but training in Perception might too. Applying Learned to figuring out the augmech as well. Perhaps cooperation factors in as well, if the innkeeper-abbot offers advice.
>>
No. 1041334 ID: f57349

>>1041328
>Is it possible to set [decontamination] to ignore or whitelist the fire-proofing chemical Paprika uses?
>rolled 19
Yes. Additionally, innkeeper is very interested in that artifact, willing to accept application to designated items and/or interior surfaces as payment.

>without anything else underneath
Conventional clothing or light armor fits inside the semiliquid space suit just fine, and the outer surface ends up more resembling a swarm of revolting insects, or thistle burrs soaked in cottage cheese, rather than, say, smooth latex. The device probably was originally intended as recreational bondage gear for those three-meter-tall humanoids, though, with short-term life support and other protections courtesy of 'feature creep.'

Shock-absorbing goo squelches with every step, so even though the structure underfoot is solid metal it feels like trudging through loose sand or an ankle-deep swamp. Where the exterior surface isn't a corrugated labyrinth of tripping hazards, it's smoothly covered in some dark purplish powder with odd electrostatic properties that interact with smart fluid to provide about as much traction as greased ice. Overall, two miles per hour seems to be the best pace you can maintain safely...

>She'll also examine the augmech Paprika examined earlier—perhaps her education will provide some additional insight into its operation?
>Applying Understanding to both tasks, the Understanding Numenera disability most likely applies in both cases. Applying Learned to figuring out the augmech as well.
>rolled 16
...or would be, if you were stuck on foot. Spidery innkeeper considers augmech maintenance "somebody else's problem," but negotiating expedited vehicle repairs, with nothing to offer but imported perfume in lieu of overtime pay, is exactly the sort of thing Natalina's more recent ancestors have taken pride in. Thus, the book helps.

Paramedic augmech has a Might pool of 22 with Edge 1 (and Armor 1), Speed pool of 22 with Edge 0, uses the operator's Intellect. Working through it provides three free levels of Effort on medical care and repairs to biomechanical creatures, but hinders many other tasks. Onboard pharmacy is restocked with raw materials, but needs more time to sort out contaminants and configuration errors before the advanced options are fully available. It can walk like an aneen on metal walls or ceilings as easily as the floor, while carrying two people internally in addition to the pilot, or one passenger/patient and a few hundred pounds of non-vacuum-rated luggage in the other coffin.
>>
No. 1041391 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 3, 4, 10, 9, 17, 15, 18, 8, 17, 6, 10, 1, 16, 19, 4, 8, 8, 12, 7, 5 = 197

>>1040930
Going to try to wrestle the cannon away, intact. If I'm carrying it, seems like they probably won't be able to shoot at us with it, and maybe we can make use of it later.
>>
No. 1041396 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 3, 6, 18, 4, 19, 9, 1, 11, 11, 18, 4, 18, 13, 11, 17, 14, 7, 19, 13, 13 = 229

Grundlehaven takes the danage as he has no real time to prepare himself. Shaking in his bones he pushes himself to act upon something and aims his buzzer atthe set of keys and flicks it twice to try to carve the key ring out of the sticky mess then tries hedge magic once again
>>
No. 1041403 ID: f57349

>>1041396
>rolled 3, 6
Grundle gets knocked down by the blast. Buzzer-blade shot misses the intended target by a mile, but ricochets off a wall and disables the shinspinner on the overhead bridge, saving Mask's pet lak.

>rolled 18, 4
Saoirse dodges successfully, activates the monoblade cypher (which she won from Grundle in a card game earlier that day), and extracts the ring of keys from the mass of sticky webbing.

>rolled 19
Hedge magic makes it possible to operate the control device without quite touching it (since that would just glue it to your hands for the next hour), and Grundle's other skills quickly turn the hovering orbs back to supporting your side.

>>1041391
>rolled 3, 4
Mask runs over toward the side of the conch-cannon. Turns out it's bigger than he is, and weighs hundreds of pounds. Response to the full-speed tackle is one leg of the tripod rising a few inches off the ground.
Still, that's enough to rattle the two shinspinners operating it. One of them bites him on the nose, but fortunately, the shape-matching effect only works in one direction. No damage gets through.
>rolled 10, 9, 17, 15, 18
After that it's a relatively simple matter of grabbing the two, smacking them into each other until they stop fighting back, then disconnecting the cannon from surrounding detritus and clearing a smooth path across the floor so you can drag it back to the entrance.
>>
No. 1041404 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 15, 8, 20, 13, 6, 2, 20, 3, 15, 13, 11, 20, 11, 3, 2, 1, 7, 15, 7, 17 = 209

>>1041403
Alright! Laser falcons secure, dignity only slightly singed, time to haul this stuff back home, and see if we can trap the shinspinners in something sturdy enough to start breaking them in, see if they can be tamed and put to work.
>>
No. 1041450 ID: f57349

rolled 2, 5, 5, 5, 2, 2, 1, 4, 1, 3, 1, 1, 3, 5, 4, 2, 1, 6, 5, 1 = 59

Dice for everybody's ten-hour recovery rolls, and others as appropriate.

>>1041022
Reiko extracts 5 units of quantium and 25 units of parts from the first stage of dismantling the volcano tamer. Saoirse's monoblade peels 4 units of pliable metal off the conch-cannon's casing, then another 16 units of parts tumble out of it. Both have potential to yield more, but each successful extraction cumulatively hinders subsequent attempts from the same source.
Even with just that much, though, assuming Reiko and/or Old Grundle are willing to offer some io and responsive synth from their own personal stocks to contribute to the establishment of the fire nation's embassy, construction of the Farspeaking Pylon can begin more or less immediately with one unit of pliable metal left over.

In the pre-dawn hours, a 60lb chunk of Earthshaker rump roast goes missing from the butchering-and-smoking operation. Eliznyabeth follows tracks back uphill toward the eye of the sea, into the entrance previously designated number eight >>1039859 toward an elaborate pattern of green inlay on the floor of room F, about 18 meters in diameter. Drippy trail ends there. Outer section of the pattern is mostly just concentric circles, but closer to the center it gets more complicated. Maybe an illustration of some profound truth about geometry, or the sort of thing somebody would use to trap a demon?
>>
No. 1041451 ID: e5709d

rolled 9, 1, 8, 17, 9, 12, 8, 16, 5, 14, 14, 16, 11, 14, 14, 4, 10, 9, 1, 2 = 194

>Pylon
Reiko agrees to contribute some of her precious iotum stocks, on the condition that she be given partial access to any and all leftover materials. You know, investments.

>60lb chunk of Earthshaker rump roast goes missing
"Not that we don't have plenty to spare, but we should make sure they're just feeding their families and not planning a raid for the other 5,940 pounds of titan pus."

>Drippy trail ends there. Outer section of the pattern is mostly just concentric circles, but closer to the center it gets more complicated.
"Hm... doesn't take a genius to realize this is a transporter of some kind. But is it an elevator or a teleporter? The wrong answer could get us killed."

What do
Reiko investigates by (yet again) scanning for iotum.
>>
No. 1041466 ID: 97a765

rolled 11, 11, 19, 20, 17, 15, 11, 20, 10, 13, 3, 2, 12, 8, 12, 18, 16, 5, 1, 18 = 242

Forgot to mention earlier, the 1 XP from my previous intrusion will go to Natalina. They probably all will until the party reunites.

>innkeeper is very interested in that artifact, willing to accept application to designated items and/or interior surfaces as payment.
Paprika will spend some time with the inkeeper spraying the halls and items as instructed. By the time she returns to Natalina in the parking garage, she's somehow won the robot over despite bad first impressions. Spending 3XP to lock in the innkeeper as a friendly NPC.

>Protective option the spiderbutler presents first ...
>"Form fitting, headless... wear these without anything else underneath and we would be fulfilling someone's fetish, I'm sure."
>outer surface ends up more resembling a swarm of revolting insects, or thistle burrs soaked in cottage cheese
"Eeugh, not mine. Can you ask Abbot if they've got any other options?"

>Shock-absorbing goo squelches with every step, so even though the structure underfoot is solid metal it feels like trudging through loose sand or an ankle-deep swamp.
"Hopefully ones that are easier to walk in?"
>>
No. 1041537 ID: aa8cad

rolled 13, 13, 10, 8, 2, 11, 15, 5, 14, 13, 5, 7, 1, 20, 18, 15, 20, 18, 14, 18 = 240

After figuring out the basics of the augmech (there's simply so much numenera where they've ended up, from their host, to the facilities, to the wondrous (and creepy) armor provided so casually, to the oversized machine itself which responds to even inexpert commands) Natalina plans to turn in for the night, trusting the inkeeper to live up to its profession. Now that the pair know the rest area is for that purpose, they might as well make blanket forts there instead of in the garage, this time.

She'll suggest to Paprika that in the morning they take the paramedic and go investigate the damaged communication systems.
>>
No. 1041552 ID: f57349

>>1041537
The five-meter tall frame of 'Milaconi's cousin' had the aspect of an imposing temple-statue inside the garage, but after Natalina and Paprika have caught up on sleep, had breakfast, and headed back out, sheer dizzying immensity of the station's exterior soon makes it feel more like some tiny insect crawling out from a knothole and along the branch of a tree. Surface curves down to the east and west, roughly a mile-wide strip between level enough to comfortably walk on. Six miles south of your starting point, that surface ends in a abrupt cliff, with nothing but starry black visible beyond. Destination is a full mile short of that edge, though.

From a distance it looks a little bit like a silver fingernail clipping, floating on the horizon. Up close, this resolves into a bowl-shaped section of metallic foil, just under thirty meters wide and maybe three meters deep, suspended above the surface you've been walking on by a hollow truss, not entirely unlike the superstructure of the windrider repair shop where this all started. Underside of the bowl is close enough for the augmech to reach up and touch, but not so low it needs to duck when walking underneath.

There's an ugly gash in the east side of that bowl. Looking up through the hole, you can see the upper section of the truss. Pattern of converging triangles abruptly ends ten meters short of a parabolic reflector's focal point, followed by roughly eight meters of twisted wreckage, bringing to mind some ragged war-banner or loose tooth. A wrist-thick cable rises up from the ground, fastened along the intact truss and through the bowl, to loop loosely around that wrecked segment, where some biomechanical thing - smaller than a human but not by much - has set up a nest.

Below the torn hole in the dish, trailing off down-slope further to the east, there are scuff marks in the dust, as if something roughly the size and shape of the main pylon you're looking for fell, bounced, and slid.
>>
No. 1041580 ID: f57349

>>1041451
>rolled 9,
>But is it an elevator or a teleporter?
Elevator, sort of. No iotum readily accessible for salvage from up here.
>1, 8, 17
>The wrong answer could get us killed."
As a GM intrusion, Reiko falls through the quicksand-like membranous surface of the 'binding circle,' beneath which a bath (silo? bottomless pit?) of preservative gel starts trying to put her into stasis. If Eliznyabeth (or somebody else nearby) assists, might be back out in only one round, taking 2 points of speed damage; otherwise, two rounds for Reiko to escape under her own power, and 4 speed damage. Anybody else would be taking twice as much speed damage, but Reiko's mechanical parts render her partially immune - presumably steel spiders can swim in the stuff unhindered.

Either way, the piece of meat you were looking for has been found and retrieved.
>>
No. 1041606 ID: 59924c

rolled 2, 7, 2, 9, 20, 11, 13, 20, 3, 11, 13, 6, 15, 10, 4, 13, 6, 11, 1, 4 = 181

>>1041580
"Whoa Nelly, no falling into the floor for you." She would say as she would quickly grab Reiko's hand as she fell in.

"Alright. Magical preservation goo... And the meat was in there..." Eliznyabeth would do the only sane thing imaginable in this situation and take a bite of the magically preserved meat with the stasis goo wiped off at least, and already start imagining ways they can use this for more industrial scale preservation efforts if this doesn't mess up the taste and nutrition too badly. Maybe even obviate the need for refrigeration.
>>
No. 1041608 ID: f57349

>>1041606
Between awkward retrieval and imperfect goo-scraping, Eliznyabeth also takes 4 speed damage. The meat tastes profoundly bland at first, almost waxy, but once the stasis wears off it's as delicious and safe-seeming as ever - maybe not quite the same as when truly fresh, but actually a bit better than it did right after the two-hour drive back. Almost like the opposite of pickling.

>rolled [...] 20
Eliznyabeth realizes this must be the steel spider's larder, keeping rot at bay when too many meat-things are caught in the web at once. Could probably just dump all the meat straight in there, dredge it back out years later in the exact same condition, no need to worry about smoking or other laborious conventional preservation methods.
>>
No. 1041624 ID: aa8cad

rolled 3 + 1 = 4

>>1041552
"Isn't this all terribly imposing." Natalina murmurs. "I suppose we have three problems then- following the trail of the missing part, ousting whatever nests in an airless void, and conducting actual repairs. Where do you think we should start?"

We would have passed through the healing mist on our way our, so rolling for the one-per-day recovery that provides.
>>
No. 1041686 ID: e5709d

rolled 11, 5, 2, 12, 13, 7, 2, 2, 3, 11, 4, 9, 14, 2, 18, 13, 11, 17, 2, 12 = 170

>2 Speed Damage
"Ow. I'pth nod ethaptlya reffnifiath." (Ow, it's not exactly a refrigerator.)
Reiko spits out the rest of the goo.
"Thanks. Crap, I think some of it got underneath my 'skin'."
Reiko opens up yet another panel in her arm. Apparently, the goo is jamming a servo. After a few moments, the servo moves again but easily halts when a weak force is applied against it. Luckily, the engine seems unharmed and is whirring away smoothly.

>Eliznyabeth realizes this must be the steel spider's larder
"Hm. I wonder what else is in there. More specifically, who else is in there."

>Elevator
"Guh, I can't remember my science classes. Eliznyabeth, can you study this while I try something?" (Reiko has a disadvantage to understanding numenera.)
Reiko spends some time building a sturdy retractable bridge across the circle, along with a tethered shadoof (crude crane) in case someone else falls in.
>>
No. 1041746 ID: 287555

rolled 10, 16, 11, 1, 18, 7, 19, 17, 16, 13, 3, 17, 1, 6, 4, 17, 13, 6, 20, 4 = 219

>>1041552
Let's try to get an idea what we're dealing with- move 'Milaconi's cousin' around the dish to maybe get a better look at the nest, see if we can perhaps identify whatever made it. Not closing with the nest yet- don't want to get jumped by surprising whatever beastie lives on this immense, airless metal plain.
>>
No. 1041749 ID: 97a765

rolled 4, 2 = 6

Paprika will say goodbye to the innkeeper, offering a warm hug and a kiss before she departs with Natalina. Rolling two recovery rolls, one free from the decontamination spiral and another expended from her daily allowance. Next post will have resolvable actions (I figure I'll separate recovery from d20 rolls for the sake of our record-keeper's sanity)
>>
No. 1041753 ID: 97a765

rolled 18, 11, 12, 7, 3, 15, 14, 9, 19, 4, 1, 17, 7, 4, 11, 17, 13, 5, 15, 19 = 221

>"Isn't this all terribly imposing."
"I think it's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it."

>"I suppose we have three problems then- following the trail of the missing part, ousting whatever nests in an airless void, and conducting actual repairs. Where do you think we should start?"
"I say we chase off the nesting creature before it causes more damage."

>There's an ugly gash in the east side of that bowl. Looking up through the hole, you can see the upper section of the truss.
"You think we can get Milaconi's cousin up through this hole without mangling the dish any further? If not, I can leave the cab and climb up there myself. I think you should stay in the mech in case we need to go in a hurry."
>>
No. 1041755 ID: f57349

>>1041746
It resembles a winged insect, suckling lightning out of the plug at the end of the cable the way a young mammal drinks milk. Ecological niche is more like a vulture or jackal, though. Level 4, can shoot darts that expand on impact to entangle and drain power. Augmech would be much more vulnerable to that than the goopy smart-fluid suits are.
>>
No. 1041791 ID: aa8cad

rolled 13, 9, 14, 1, 10, 16, 4, 20, 2, 17, 12, 8, 6, 16, 7, 18, 4, 16, 5, 6 = 204

>>1041755
"A literal lightning bug? Perhaps more a lightning flea or mosquito, given the scale of this place."

>>1041753
>"I think it's beautiful
"I suppose it is at that, though no less imposing for it."

>chase off the nesting creature, climb out
"Sounds like a plan. I'll have Milaconi's cousin keep her distance, to avoid having its lighting stolen, and try to support you."

Paprika, trained in climbing and balancing, is the least likely to be slowed down by the sickness of the traction, and less vulnerable to the creature than the machine.

"...this feels odd to ask, but did you want any drugs? One of those our ride restocked seems to temporarily boost physical performance." (Might Edge).
>>
No. 1041953 ID: 08e6d5

rolled 8, 16, 14, 3, 13, 14, 2, 11, 1, 19, 11, 15, 15, 11, 6, 6, 16, 5, 7, 17 = 210

>>1041686
"Nyah, bi ban bo pat." (Yeah, I can do that) she would reply, her entire mouth almost entirely not working from the chunk of gel she specifically actually ate.

And she would hunt to work out the secrets of the elevator that they might board it and ride deeper into the dungeon.
>>
No. 1042064 ID: 97a765

>"...this feels odd to ask, but did you want any drugs?"
Paprika snickers, "Fuck me up, Nat."

Paprika exits the augmech and begins assembling her spear as Natalina injects her with might-boosting drugs. "Hey Natalina, listen. I've got a huge crush on you. I think I've had it since we first met back in the City of Needles...two days ago? Wow it feels like so much longer. Um...I just wanted to get that off my chest in case, you know, I get killed by a giant robot fly in space."

Paprika climbs up through the hole in the dish and carefully approaches the giant fly thing, waving her spear to try to shoo it away.
>>
No. 1042065 ID: 97a765

rolled 20, 11, 12, 3, 18, 15, 4, 10, 18, 19, 16, 6, 1, 15, 6, 3, 5, 19, 1, 9 = 211

Oops!
>>
No. 1042215 ID: e5709d

rolled 2, 11, 14, 13, 12, 3, 5, 15, 10, 14, 6, 14, 11, 2, 18, 2, 1, 20, 1, 5 = 179

Having completed the retractable bridge (a piece of rusted, warped plating, screwed and soldered into the floor, and then a ladder with a handle soldered perpendicular to push through the hole between the plate and the floor), Reiko opts to investigate the hunting pattern of the spiders. How much meat they move at once, if they eat some of their surplus just before storing it, potential hotspots for nests, etc. (Intelligence, 1 Effort)
>>
No. 1042244 ID: f57349

>>1041953
Only apparent route further down is swimming in the preservative gel, which would at minimum require an air supply, and some sort of sealed suit or personal force field or other countermeasure to avoid being put into stasis.

Now that Eliznyabeth knows what that goo looks like when it's dripped on the floor, she realizes the steak-stealing steel spider climbed back out the other side and walked off through the room's west exit to somewhere else on the same level. Follow it, or turn back and report what's already been found?

>>1042064
Paprika leaps up parallel to the truss without touching it. This catches the lightning mourn completely by surprise. When she floats back down it's twitching helplessly, impaled on the end of her spear. Could be repaired and released, or broken up for parts.

Next problem: a mile away, the detached pylon is found, battered but intact. It's three meters tall, just over a meter wide, ~30 cm thick, and as long as the augmech's height in a direction you can only just barely see with those helmets on, for an overall 1:4:9:16 ratio atop a small rubble pile, near the center of a circular slab of metal eight meters in diameter which protrudes from the main structure like a shelf.
Main surface here is a near-vertical cliff over an effectively bottomless starry void. Paramedic augmech can walk around, but it's very important not to let go. Farspeaking pylon is close enough to touch, but, even in the low effective gravity, too heavy to lift safely at such an awkward angle.

Sensible approach would probably involve ropes and pulleys. Some chattering datasphere imp proposes a faster option: if a gravity detonation cypher were positioned at just the right spot underneath, [garbled noun] could act as a sort of lens, isotidally launching the pylon back up onto relatively level ground.
>>
No. 1042347 ID: aa8cad

rolled 17, 20, 19, 5, 3, 5, 1, 14, 5, 18, 14, 1, 4, 14, 17, 17, 19, 13, 20, 15 = 241

>>1042064
Caught off guard first by surprise, then by a rush of mortification, a flustered Natalina doesn't manage to respond before Paprika escapes outside. Wha- How did she not notice- she invited her flower picking for goodness- oh. And just lept a story and plucked that creature from the sky with effortless grace after confessing. Um.

After a pause, a descending Paprika hears a sigh over the communication-tether. "I feel quite foolish for not realizing sooner. In retrospect, you were not being particularly subtle."

>>1042244
>When she floats back down it's twitching helplessly, impaled on the end of her spear. Could be repaired and released, or broken up for parts.
"Is that safe to bring inside?"

Natalina isn't going to protest if Paprika plans to show mercy and release the critter (preferably after moving it further from the communication installation). If we're to harvest her hunt, we can put it out of its misery for now, but cleaning and gutting can likely wait until we return. (When we can safely expend bonuses to overcome our disabilities on salvaging numenera).

>Some chattering datasphere imp proposes a faster option
Wait, hold on, that seems important. Some kind of... information spirit is aware of our situation, down to details of our surroundings and avialable kit, to the point they can offer tactical advice? How are they communicating? Have they been following along, are they local to this area, do they reside within some piece of the numenera we've gathered for this airless expedition...?

Actually, were the protective suits smart enough to ensure a belt-secured grenade ended up outside the protective layer? If not, disrobing inside the augmech could retrieve the cypher, but that wasn't functionality Natalina thought to check in advance.
>>
No. 1042427 ID: f57349

>>1042347
The datasphere is ubiquitous, but mostly intangible and inaccessible. People catch random fragments from it reasonably often, daydreams known as 'glimmers.' Some machines and creatures can access it more directly, finding prompt, useful answers to specific questions. Terrifying predatory beasts known as jiraskar use it as their primary sense for hunting. Things live in the datasphere, ranging from vast alien gods all the way down to the equivalent of worms or beetles. Based on what's spilling over into the augmech's communication queue, immediate vicinity of the farspeaking pylon seems to be very crowded from the datasphere side, like the line outside a popular nightclub, or the office of a politician who just made a very unpopular policy decision. Imp itself has already wandered off, but proposal's geometry is still present, like a note scribbled on a napkin or a footprint in snow.

> were the protective suits smart enough to ensure a belt-secured grenade ended up outside the protective layer?
No. Transferring stuff from belt to hand is easy enough, but attempting a throw without the right setup leaves the projectile still inside a gooey pseudopod. Likewise, if you had a hammer or chisel from your crafting toolkit inside the suit, and tried to use it on something outside, smart fluid would probably end up cushioning the impacts to frustrating effect.

Fortunately you figure out a trick for transferring items through the armor - or rather, convincing the armor to start treating them as if they belong outside - by tying knots in the retractable tether, which it prefers not to enclose, and then using them to 'cut' the smart fluid pseudopod. Takes about a minute per item, though, and when you're gripping a tool firmly enough, might start trying to re-enclose it. Proceeds relatively slowly across metal, though, particularly with a coating of that dark purplish powder, so you could rig up an atlatl to throw grenades using a bar from the wrecked truss.
>>
No. 1042716 ID: f57349
File 166218018729.png - (853.74KB , 804x536 , New Hallux in progress.png )
1042716

>>1042215
>rolled 2
Reiko successfully repurposes lava-proof pontoon bridges to cross the stasis pit safely (though this turns out not to be necessary, since it's possible to just walk around) and follows the spider's trail deeper inside.
>rolled 11, 14
Scrap and debris in one of the rooms it passes through (on the way to room D) seems like a potential iotum source. First pass doesn't find much of note, but scan confirms there's got to be something, and you're not under much time pressure. Second attempt, with Eliznyabeth's help, turns up a whisperlock and an oddity: a red scarf that, when one end is wrapped around a living person's neck, the other end blows dramatically perpendicular to the wind... or when there's no strong wind, in whichever direction is least likely to get it caught on anything.
>>
No. 1042721 ID: e5709d

rolled 18, 6, 15, 12, 15, 17, 7, 9, 6, 7, 12, 15, 18, 16, 19, 16, 14, 17, 18, 14 = 271

>Protagonist Scarf
Reiko dons the scarf, wondering what kind of poser of the previous worlds spent the time and effort to make such a classic decoration a reality. Wondering how many other would-be heroes and captains have donned this cloth before her. Then she realizes this thing has probably gotten people killed, as having a bright red scarf trailing everywhere makes for a good targeting beacon in ambushes.
She opts to use it to bind her chest instead. Perhaps whatever spirit remains in this façade of heroism will take lustful appeasement.

>>1042716
Reiko opts to take paths further from the center, at least until she and Eliznyabeth can regroup with the rest of the party. Reiko leads to Point B and continues scanning.
>>
No. 1043058 ID: f57349

>>1042721
Room B has two more fungal stalactites on the ceiling, but unlike the one found in that outlying circular room these aren't shriveled up. Instead, they glow with a dull brown-orange inner light. Similar thin layer of dry soil across the floor, but instead of a perfectly uniform distribution it rises to shallow peaks.
>rolled 18
While still a short distance away, Reiko notices bone fragments and a scrap of chainmail protruding from the northern mound. Also, faint smell of vinegar.
>>
No. 1043059 ID: ce9d68

rolled 12, 3, 17, 16, 7, 16, 7, 18, 9, 18, 11, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 11, 18, 9, 13 = 257

>>1043058
"Right, so I will ache he ock." (Right so I will take the lock) Eliznyabeth will cautiously poke at the fungus from afar to see if it reacts, especially wanting to make sure it's not going to explode with a puff of gas. And possibly try and come up with an explanation on the vinegar smell.
>>
No. 1043065 ID: f57349

>>1043059
Eliznyabeth throws a small rock, which bounces off, then narrowly dodges the stream of acid squirted back in response.
>>
No. 1043067 ID: ce9d68

rolled 14, 11, 6, 6, 13, 19, 11, 3, 9, 8, 10, 5, 3, 9, 13, 9, 11, 12, 13, 9 = 194

>>1043065
Alright, well then we just need to drain the two mushrooms to be able to safely get at the refuse piles. So, a dumb idea occurred to her.

She wasn't the best at trick shots, but she was practiced at them, and so she would line up a bowshot to bounce off of the ceiling and stab into a section of the mushroom towards the bottom, so that the spray of acid would be both near the bottom so that gravity could assist the spray, and aimed away from them. Then they could figure out if the mushrooms work on a pressure system, or if they have some way of regulating spray as some kind of weird ammo system.
>>
No. 1043068 ID: e5709d

rolled 7, 17, 13, 13, 10, 14, 4, 13, 5, 9, 6, 10, 11, 3, 17, 18, 18, 13, 16, 16 = 233

>>1043058
Ah yes. Reiko barely remembers, but this was one of the spa's guests. She and her adventuring party made a horrible drunken ruckus that pissed the whole staff off. They threw stools at kids, fed chocolate-coated aneenshoes to the aneen, and even farted lit candles at the drapes. Reiko personally pushed them far, far away from the Volcano Tamer before they inevitably 'adjusted' it with a greathammer. She didn't even get reprimanded for firing iotum lasers at them.
At least they tipped extravagantly.
Nobody asked where they were going next, and frankly, the staff collectively agreed to forget the whole incident to prevent PTSD.
"... This is definitely a deathtrap. What a way to go, you obnoxious party animal."
Reiko turns to Eliznyabeth.
"We should come back la-"

>>1043065
"... Could I deplete them of acid with enough stones?
Eh. Let's get back to camp. I have an idea..."

Reiko (and Eliznyabeth) walk back to the nearest camp. Reiko gets to work on engineering and constructing an acid collection apparatus and some basic hazmat equipment.
>>
No. 1043073 ID: f57349

>>1043067
>rolled 14
Eliznyabeth figures out a clever way to line up a bowshot so it'll bounce off two of the walls and strike the fungal stalactite from a completely different direction. That hits, but only deals 1 damage (target apparently has the equivalent of heavy armor). Acid spray comes straight at her rather than falling for the misdirection,
>rolled 11, 6, 6, 13
...and she doesn't get out of the way quite quickly enough this time. Three speed damage, paralyzed for a round, a third spray without immediate provocation, three more speed damage, second round of paralysis successfully resisted.
>>1043068
>rolled 7, 17
Reiko helps Eliznyabeth retreat to a safe distance, and notes how fumes from wherever the corrosive spray touched flesh seem to be flowing back toward their source with uncommon directness, almost more like a fisherman pulling in the catch of the day than typical turbulent-vapor fluid dynamics.
>>
No. 1043115 ID: e5709d

rolled 6, 5, 16, 14, 7, 17, 5, 4, 18, 7, 8, 14, 4, 20, 8, 20, 5, 11, 4, 8 = 201

After a few minutes of shock, Reiko manages to shake herself out of it.
"Okay, that's enough adventuring for today! Eliznyabeth, did you get all of it off?"

On the way back to camp, Reiko makes small chat.
"Now that I think about it, the spiders are expected to perform maintenance on their territory. I guess even they can't handle a sentient colony of semi-telekinetic acid-spewing fungi...
Wait, I think Grundle said something about his power working on anything that thinks about eating people."

Back at camp, Reiko brainstorms a plan to 'capture' the fungi, or at least contain their acid, in the hopes that they can be used to kill the spiders - or better yet...
"If we could somehow dominate the fungal colonies, their psychic control over the acidic spit would easily eat through the grunge while leaving the fine-tuned components intact. And better yet, they've been looking for the cheapest form of mass-produced engraving...
I wonder if those @#$%ing ferrets will melt faster than they can burn."
(Intelligence - Engineer a strategy to capture the fungus, Effort 1)
>>
No. 1043668 ID: e69848

rolled 20, 7, 6, 14, 6, 3, 19, 13, 12, 10, 16, 16, 6, 12, 9, 16, 16, 15, 1, 5 = 222

>>1043115
"Yeah, I absolutely agree, that's enough adventure for today, we should come up with a plan of attack, but go the opposite direction in the morning from the fork that we took. After all, as much as I want to take my vengeance on the mushrooms they are otherwise a low priority if there's a safe alternate route."

And so, Eliznyabeth would take the lead out of the dungeon, and start to rest under a tree.

> Roll a recovery
> Roll a 4+1

> Roll a recovery
> Roll a 2+1

Of course, she wasn't exactly tired or anything, and 10 minutes later she realized that she was actually really bored. So, rather than take the rest of the day off after getting almost melted, it was probably a good idea to tell Elenyah about the preservation goo since she was really the only person here she actually knew. Maybe also tell the chirurgeon since he's kind of the person that she just gave a LOT of money to. But after all of that then go find Reiko and see about going back into the dungeon on that other path now, as opposed to later.
>>
No. 1044178 ID: e5709d

rolled 11, 1, 3, 6, 19, 15, 7, 11, 16, 3, 12, 15, 6, 5, 4, 7, 1, 9, 19, 19 = 189

Hours have passed, and Reiko has come up with little. Her best bet would be to either use her cypher or Eliznyabeth's to bring the fungus to their level.

A harried messenger from Mia Xan unfolds a letter and begins chanting its contents in what can only be described as an anti-iambic pentameter. Annoyed, Reiko snatches the letter from the messenger and skims the contents. Turns out that leaving an intentionally half-dismantled device which formerly kept the volcano from completely blowing over (or so the residents incorrectly assumed) without its formal replacement has left the townsfolk... agitated. It is only due to her love of unsinged mahogany that she hasn't formally written a letter of complaint (i.e. an assassination contract), and Reiko should probably be back to work by three hours ago.

After leaving behind a message for Grundle (with the messenger, who should enliven the old man), Reiko and Eliznyabeth quickly chainpod their way back down the mountain, at which point Reiko hurries alone to Mia Xan, briefly reports Eliznyabeth's injury and explains her discovery of a specific fungal acid (which is somehow prehensile) which should speed all repairs and construction once they manage to capture / kill the damn fungus colonies producing it, and then jogs to the Volcano Tamer to begin another round of disassembly.
>>
No. 1044189 ID: e8b3c8

rolled 6, 6, 2, 5, 3, 1, 4, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 3, 3, 6, 6, 1, 5, 3, 2 = 79

Progress around Hallux shows while the engineers work on assembly and repair projects- Mask spends this downtime trying to capture/train shinspinners to be useful around camp. Once Eliznyabeth and Reiko are both freed from their respective duties, the glaive works with them to clear a safe path towards room D and handle whatever threats are present within.
>>
No. 1044191 ID: f57349

Hallux during the off-season is a rank 2 community with Health 6 and Infrastructure 6. It was faced with a rank 2 eruption, as well as those magma weasels. Repairing the volcano tamer reduced the eruption to rank 1. Eruption inflicted 2 health damage while weasels inflicted 3 infrastructure damage, leaving health at 4/6 and infrastructure at 3/6.
If the PCs hadn't gotten involved, the town would have hit zero infrastructure at the end of the next hour-long community-scale turn, downgrading it to rank 1. While the immediate attack would end at that point, and food and water reserves might last longer with fewer surviving mouths to feed, overall prospects would have been grim.
Grundle >>1036633 and Saoirse >>1036659 patched up the Health, while Mask fixed one Infrastructure. Remaining damage can be rebuilt by local NPCs, one point per day.

Over the course of the next month, anybody who's staying in town can take a number of long-term actions equal to their tier (meaning one, unless you get a lot of XP first). Non-exhaustive list of options:

-Build up food and water stores. This is what I'm assuming Eliznyabeth will be doing. Foraging, rationing, imports... regardless of approach, each PC doing this adds 1d6 days to the deadline for clearing the dungeon.

-Craft Object or Structure. This is what I'm assuming Reiko Lastname will be doing to set up the farspeaking pylon and embassy. Requires a roll.

-General maintenance. This is what I'm assuming Grundlehaven Havespont will be doing, by applying crafting and medical skills to set up an efficient and hygenic refugee camp with room for further development. Increases the community's maximum Infrastructure, semi-permanently.

-Enhance Community Happiness. Focused on cultural and aesthetic rather than directly utilitarian factors. Increases the community's maximum Health, semi-permanently.

-Discover new site of interest. This is the sort of thing Elanyah was busy with on previous months. Ruins, monster lairs, previously unknown neighbors, etc.

-Treat with a neighboring community. This is the sort of thing Mia Xan does. Must be within one week's routine travel... but that can include vehicles, portals, etc.

-Create a closer relationship with an NPC. Requires a roll to initiate, ongoing time to maintain. Emotional benefits expand your Might, Speed, or Intellect pool.

-Earn XP or gain other benefits by focusing on self-improvement. Diminishing returns for repeated use between adventures, no direct benefit to the town.

-Scavenge dry iotum. Parts, plus 24% chance io, 24% chance responsive synth, 16% chance apt clay, 12% chance each orthogonalium fiber, synthsteel, or pliable metal. A whole month's work sifting through the less exciting sorts of ruins only provides two units.

-Scavenge bio-iotum. Similar to the above but focused on different sources, yielding 16% chance each immorcell colony, cognitive weave, optogenetic muscle, or mother marrow, 12% chance each allophene nodule, bio-circuitry, or metabolic vesicle.
Side benefit is organic matter rather than mechanical parts, which isn't worth much around a functional ecosystem, but might be relevant in other environments.
>>
No. 1044394 ID: f57349

>>1044178
>rolled 11
Salvage result is two cyphers, a level 6 stim and a level 7 iron wind resistor. There's no obvious way to use the latter for embassy construction apart from leaving it in an emergency-supplies locker, but a stim cypher is exceptionally versatile: it eases ANY single task by three steps. Given sufficient materials, you could use that to set up a specialty workshop or other high-end commonplace structure in days rather than years. Appropriate specialty workshop would then cut a week off the build time for the farspeaking pylon, and have many other benefits besides.
Thanks to Grundle's assistance you also extract 6 units of Azure Steel, which might be even better than tungsten for engraving magma-proof formal documents, or setting up thermal-mirror surfaces so visiting volcanic nobility can 'let their hair down' inside without accidentally setting the walls on fire. Lot of Parts, too, but the exact count probably isn't relevant unless you're embezzling.
>rolled 1, 3, 6, 19, 15
GM intrusion from that 1 on crafting: once the pylon is built, for every recipient of any given message sent through it, next single meal they eat which includes meat, the meat will taste like soap.
Otherwise, looks like reasonably smooth sailing for whichever thing you build first. Construction is resolved as a series of subtasks, starting at difficulty 1 and increasing incrementally over the course of the total time required, so the hardest part always comes last. Failing any given subtask once just results in a proportional delay, but failing the same subtask twice in a row also ruins some of the components (which is mostly a problem when working with hard-to-replace iotum).

>>1043668
>rolled 20
Short nap in direct sunlight and some stretching exercises suffice for Eliznyabeth to mostly shake off the effects of two potent, and unrelated, paralytic poisons. Shriveled fungal stalactite in that outlying room seems like a sensible practice target for parkour tactics in her vendetta against the vapor feeders. Series of wall-jumps leading into a forearm-blade stab see it torn loose at the base, revealing a long narrow hole leading up through the smoky flying buttress.
>>1044189
Mask fetches a ladder so non-acrobats can reach the hole, and figures out (partly based on Eliznyabeth's description of the smell) that it's an alternate entrance to the shinspinner lair - probably close to whatever they're using to extract food and water from the Eye of the Sea. Depending on what you find at the other end, might even be possible to convert the passage into an aqueduct so townsfolk can resupply without needing to intrude on the main tunnel complex. Downside is, you'd have to be crawling in there single-file, and while it's unlikely the shinspinners would have built traps in what was until very recently a dead-end passage, that's not a guarantee. Spherical laser falcons refuse to enter such tight quarters.
>>
No. 1044464 ID: e5709d

rolled 8, 8, 13, 16, 1, 10, 16, 16, 12, 8, 5, 8, 7, 16, 10, 6, 9, 20, 2, 1 = 192

>GM Intrusion: Meat tastes like soap
A quick pulse test of the base transmitter causes Reiko's mouth to ache with the equivalent of chewing melted rubber bands and a side order of acid. After gargling for two minutes, she tries to snack on a meat ration - only to discover, to her horror, that it tastes like what she just cleaned off.
After panicking for about a half-hour, she manages to inference the cause and effect. As the 'curse' appears to reset after a single 'meal', Reiko concludes that the side-effect, while disgusting, is acceptable. In fact, she realizes this could be a great dietary aid! Or a way to help vegetarians make sure their 'mystery salad' is not, in fact, a pile of fried pork rinds.
"Dear Mia Xan... some complications... hire a vegetarian... Wuv, Weiko. Nah, too silly."
She warns the other townsfolk that they may want to cut down to a quarter-ration for one lunch.
(Offering an XP to Eliznyabeth)

"... That's what it was capable of?! He used it as a goddamn counterweight!"
>If there's enough resources to build the specialty workshop
Reiko immediately injects herself with the stim. Her cyber implant quickly hums to life, gaining temporary access to the datasphere with a hacked account and a pre-selected list of topics. Reiko has enough time to download a single instruction manual before the archive's security protocols kick in and banhammer the account. Reiko selects "how to create precursor-quality construction tools with big dum-dum butterfingers" and is hit with a full Maester's knowledge. It's fading fast, so Reiko quickly begins crafting the advanced workshop, designed specifically to repair and maintain fine-tuned components. By the time she's finished, the information is a hollow memory she can't quite recall, but she can't believe she managed to create an electron microscope out of hot sand, oak fibers, and a tub of butter. This is the workshop she needed three months ago.

>If not, or afterwards
Reiko stores the cyphers, hoping they won't break down on their own, and begins basic construction of the pylon. The magma-proof documents take priority over thermal mirrors, keeping the records fully accurate and preserved is worth more than a fiery hairdo.
>>
No. 1044842 ID: 3f01d5

rolled 20, 20, 15, 13, 14, 16, 11, 20, 10, 4, 15, 16, 17, 11, 12, 11, 20, 7, 18, 18 = 288

>>1044189
Whoops, rolled d6. Here's a better roll.
>>1044394
Mask takes point, explores for traps, so the engineers can figure out how to widen it and get the water out.
>>
No. 1045150 ID: f57349

>>1044464
>rolled 8, 8, 13, 16
The magma embassy's farspeaking pylon is fully operational in less than a week, with no further complications.

>>1044842
>rolled 20, 20, 15, 13
Only trap on the route in is a force-wall projector. Semi-domesticated shinspinners approach it without triggering activation. Mask persuades them to move it to the room's other entrance, alter the trigger conditions, and redirect some pipes. Soon enough refugees from Hallux have a functionally unlimited supply of fresh water and fish, while the shinspinners have to beg, steal, flee, or starve.

>>1043668
>rolled 20
Steel spider base unit has three main sections: input disassembler, eggshell projector, and the control console across the top. Materials which the spiders dump in are reassembled inside the shell to build new spiders, with surplus converted into energy or something almost like spraymetal to recharge and repair existing ones. Console seems to be describing the device's connection to the Eye of the Sea - it's not an essential component, more like a simplified toy model for educational purposes, or possibly a sort of remote control.
Eliznyabeth sneaks in and rips out the reassembly mechanism, castrating the "queen." Any steel spiders still loose may pose a threat, but with no way to repair or replace, time is firmly on the town's side.
The factory's death throes graft a linear accelerator and set of malformed steel-spider face-parts onto her forearm blade. Through the string of thumb-sized sapphires, she can view targets up to 1 mile (1.5 km) off as if they were just a short distance away. Once a target is sighted, the device can almost silently fire a tiny slug of metal, dealing 6 damage. Kick to the shoulder might knock her down if she's not braced for it, though.
>>
No. 1045155 ID: f57349

Everybody gets 4 xp for neutralizing the main threats under the Eye of the Sea. Hallux is saved - they'll probably all survive the winter, and come back stronger next year thanks to that new potential trade partner.

Another few hundred miles closer to the Beanstalk, beside a small lake on the northernmost fringes of the Ba-Adenu Forest, you've tracked rumors of a renewable supply of amber crystal to the village of Glawv. Lake Lom is home to dobworms, a type of arm-length, aquatic invertebrate that produces pea-sized bits of amber much like how oysters produce pearls. The 400 or so Glawvians tend to the dobworms, either in wild “farms” along the edge of the lake or in basins in their yards, and harvest the amber pieces (called dobs) to make jewelry. The farmers have a technique for heating and squeezing the dobs so they either form larger pieces or temporarily liquefy into a resin that can be painted on as a durable seal. Each worm produces only a few grams per year (caged dobworms tend to produce dobs with a more consistent color and clarity, but dobs from wild, lake-living dobworms tend to be larger) while a chunk sufficient to serve as part of a chainpod's power core would need tens of kilograms of the stuff.

Grundlehaven Havespont observes that leftover dobworm slime would be an ideal dunking medium for his humiliation hospital plan, and setting up such a beneficial numenera installation would probably be fair trade for a dozen or more units of amber crystal. Apt clay and responsive synth can be easily scavenged from the Eye of the Sea, Mayor Delby happens to have a few jars of mimetic gel in her cellar so worst case you could use more of that to substitute for a shortage of synthsteel, and quantium is available as Reiko's share of the treaty with the King Under The Mountain... but that still leaves the hardest part: midnight stones.
There's a clave called Elsawn Observatory half a day's walk deeper in the forest (or a few minutes by chainpod), to whom Glawv sends food and various other gifts in exchange for help with weird problems. An offhand comment from that many-handed automaton who set you on this quest in the first place, which didn't make sense at the time, could be taken to imply that Elsawn Observatory has a stash of midnight stones, but the aeon priests are reluctant to discuss their inventory with heavily armed outsiders.
>>
No. 1045364 ID: 97a765

rolled 3, 11, 13, 15, 3, 6, 6, 4, 20, 11, 17, 15, 20, 18, 4, 6, 11, 12, 10, 1 = 206

>>1042347
>>1042244
>Paprika leaps up parallel to the truss without touching it. This catches the lightning mourn completely by surprise. When she floats back down it's twitching helplessly, impaled on the end of her spear.
It takes a moment for Paprika's breath to catch up to her. She tries to stay calm, despite this possibly being the most awesome thing she's ever done.

>After a pause, a descending Paprika hears a sigh over the communication-tether. "I feel quite foolish for not realizing sooner. In retrospect, you were not being particularly subtle."
"Really? I was trying so hard to play it cool...I have been told I'm about as subtle as an earthshaker, before."

>"Is that safe to bring inside?"
>Natalina isn't going to protest if Paprika plans to show mercy and release the critter
"I think so. It's not looking too good, poor thing. You think we can fix it up and let it go?"

>disrobing inside the augmech
Paprika visibly blushes at the suggestion.

>if a gravity detonation cypher were positioned at just the right spot underneath, [garbled noun] could act as a sort of lens, isotidally launching the pylon back up onto relatively level ground.
"Haha that sounds really risky. I'm all for it though, what do you think?"
>>
No. 1045399 ID: 287555

rolled 14, 8, 1, 18, 15, 7, 4, 7, 19, 3, 4, 2, 10, 3, 11, 19, 20, 20, 8, 13 = 206

>>1045364
>"Really? I was trying so hard to play it cool...I have been told I'm about as subtle as an earthshaker, before."
An aborted laugh comes across the communication cable in response. "Much as I'd like to credit your success and spare my dignity, they may have been correct."

Natalina continues, hesitantly. "A part of me feels like I should expound on the perils of a workplace romance, or one between two people stranded alone with one another. ...although, no, we're not the only two people present counting our inkeeper-abbot. And of the two of us, I'm not the one you kissed.

"...I'm sorry, I quite lost track of where I was going with that."

>You think we can fix it up and let it go?
>Working through [the augmech] provides three free levels of Effort on medical care and repairs to biomechanical creatures
Natalina, operating Milaconi's cousin, will attempt to extricate and repair the impaled lightning mourn. Not sure how quickly the creature can travel, but if we're engaging in catch-and-release, we should do so away from the nest we're trying to evict it from.

>"Haha that sounds really risky. I'm all for it though, what do you think?"
If only one of the pair ventures out onto the platform to plant the grenade, the risk of falling into the abyss is a lot lower, since they'd be tethered to the other and the augmech. Paprika would be better at a balancing act, but Natalina could apply discounted Intellect effort, Learned for training in demolitions, and training in noticing flaws to help pick the right point in the rubble pile to place it (and to not knock the pile down on herself doing so).

"...I'm not confident in my ability to accurately throw in this gravity, but I think I could place it."
>>
No. 1045410 ID: f57349

>>1045399
>rolled 14
Lightning mourn has been patched up, and gently reprogrammed to see you as neither a threat nor a food source. It immediately zooms back to suckle at the sparking end of that loose cable, though.
>rolled 8, 1, 18
You find the correct spot, and (after burning xp on a reroll) a position from which Milaconi's cousin can simply throw the gravity-pear with exactly the right speed, angle, and timing. Detonation is shockingly loud, in contrast with the near-total ambient silence of the station exterior.
>rolled 15
By the time you hike back to the dish, that mangled support truss has somehow been completely repaired or replaced, and farspeaking pylon landed in what looks like the right spot atop it. The lightning mourn gives you an insectile salute before skittering away.

After simply touching the reconnected cable, Milaconi's cousin can interface with the farspeaking pylon, and even maintain the connection from a distance. Local datasphere is still very crowded, but seems to be making progress toward clearing the queue.

Now, to see if you can remember the chainpod's ID code...

First attempt: at the other end of the connection you're looking up from the bottom of a squarish shaft, 2.5 meters by 3 meters and at least five meters deep. No light apart from the display screen itself. Error message, core... something something... not found... reserve power... blah blah catastrophic blah... This chainpod is in very bad shape. Not just neglected maintenance, somebody tore important pieces out of it. Only other item of interest visible through the dashboard camera is a jumbled pile of bones including at least three human skulls. Advanced state of decay, but with hair still visible, suggests time of death somewhere between two months and ten years ago, depending on accessibility to scavenging beetles.
Wait, no, this isn't even YOUR chainpod! Got that last digit wrong.

Second attempt: it's outdoors, in or near Cerdyn's Pass, maglinked to two others, and the engine is having problems consistent with accumulated volcanic ash, so you're fairly sure you found the right one. Audio transceiver unresponsive, dashboard camera seems to be blocked by a large furry butt.

Third attempt: one of the other two linked pods. Camera is, again, mostly obstructed, but this time by some pale papery-looking thing, leaking a thin trail of blood.

Fourth attempt: last linked pod, fully functional, empty, and wide open to the sky. Shattered wall of a building - one you recognize as among the few in Hallux which were completely intact during the eruption's immediate aftermath - and to the other side, greasy smoke rising from out of frame in front of the wrecked volcano tamer. Reiko is laughing somewhere nearby, but it doesn't seem like the happy sort of laughter. Several other voices, crying or shouting, mostly unintelligible. A not-quite-humanoid silhouette approaches. Bright red eyes flicker "This confirms that you survived." Reaching toward the 'disconnect' button, a finger of angular stone.


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