[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration.   Posted by The Strange.Group: 0
The Strange
 GM, 79 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 17:41
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: Apprx 2100 hours.

The "evening" passes quietly. Dreams inhabit nearly everyone's mind -- some more pleasant than others... the pulsing machinery becoming heartbeats, drumbeats, and the like. Eventually, you all awake, fully rested, to be greeted by a very simple yet filling meal of a decent gruel laced with occasional strips of meat, and water cut with a bit of wine (likely to sanitize it more than anything else).

Soldiers break camp for you, so there is little for you to do to prep before you're good to go. Perhaps half an hour after you wake, an escort of three soldiers are walking you to the east, toward your chosen entrance.

The eastern road is practically a mirror of the southern road you entered through; massive walls extending up out of sight, time and decay marring their faces to the point of near unrecognizable function. Here and there, teams of scientists guarded by soldiers cluster around various collections of odd objects or possible vehicles.

Eventually, you find yourselves at the entrances to the northeast and southeast quadrants. The soldiers lead you to the entrance of the south-eastern quadrant, and seem about to speak when a slowly-rising sound emanates from the northern entrance across the road from you. It starts low, less heard than felt. A rumbling that that gains in both timbre and intensity as it gets louder, until it begins to resemble something akin to a mechanical yet human scream. This goes on for nearly three seconds before it is suddenly cut off, replaced with the sound of a muffled, far-away explosion.

Then, silence.

One of the soldiers shudders, before speaking "That's the third we've heard from there this week. They keep sending things back, though, so boss says don't worry about it. Would hate to see what is making that noise, though." Even as he speaks, one of the strange spider-mechs, carrying what looks like a clawed, seven-fingered hand about the size of a human head, trundles out of the northern entrance before heading toward the main camp.

The soldiers look back to the southern entrance, "Well, in you go. Good luck t' the lot of you! Try not to die, right?"
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 11 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 26 Jan 2017
at 23:17
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Falling into familiar trail routines, Tor is ready to move within a few moments of breaking his fast. He has precious little equipment with him - his small pack and what equipment he had the previous night - and took a few moments to scrape the trace of stubble from his face with a small razor, humming one of the learning songs of Malvich quietly to himself as he makes quick work of the chore.

When they set off his curiosity ensured that he ranged ahead and trailed behind, the roadside detritus new and unfamiliar to him. Where he sensed it will be welcome he exchanged a few words with his companions, but otherwise he keeps his own counsel unless approached. Every now and then he stopped and crouched to examine some curio or tale of some curio's past presence, tracks into the past.

At the entrance his brow furrowed at the scream and his shoulders tensed for a moment, before he chuckled softly to himself at the guard's remarks. He called out to the others, though not loudly, "Once more unto the breach, for you?"
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 31 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Mon 6 Feb 2017
at 17:40
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
It took a while for Taelan to finally fall asleep that night, his mind having been captured in thought and paranoia making it difficult to even contemplate putting down his defenses and getting some much needed rest. The regular inspection by the four legged puff ball admittedly did help in that regard, the gentle nuzzle and linking forcing a smile onto his gruff expression that seemed to be the theme of the day. Eventually he would finally succumb and drift off, the steady and even thumping of machinery giving him dreams of lively music played in a tavern with a heavy drum playing louder than all the rest.

He awoke and went among his morning duties seemingly in better spirits, if only marginally, having forced himself to relax. As he got his pack into sorts he ended up standing next to Daesa for a moment. A twinge of guilt hit him as he considered the day before and his general temperament which had lead to him being overly harsh. He let out a short, uncomfortable cough and didn't look at her as he said a short, "Sorry." His pride prevented him from saying any more and he turned, walking purposefully to the other end of camp.

He remained in quiet solitude until they left, walking towards their intended entrance into the ruins proper. He is given pause at the sudden loud and destructive noise coming from the opposite entrance. He wonders for a moment whether the source of the sound was from a creature they would meet as they explore or one of the other expendable adventurers they had hired. He looked Tor as he spoke though he didn't reply, nstead looking to the group. "So... I know we have light sources. I think whoever has that should go first. Unless you want to give it to me and I'll go first."
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 25 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 00:50
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa slept wonderfully.  Between the fur-lined bed roll, the tiny green puff ball snuggles and the pleasant dreams she had, she work up in a better mood than she fell asleep in.  Once the morning came, she gathered her things and followed along with the group.  She is surpised that Taelan even speaks to her, and while it takes her a second to realize that he apologized, she shakes her head.

"Don't worry, it won't happen again."  Which is mostly true, since the mind speaking spell is still active for several more hours, she's just pretending it's not.

Still, there is a bit of excitement in her step, glad to finally starting this grand mission they've been sent on.  She isn't even deterred by the thought that they're one of many groups and are mostly seen as dispensable.  The explosive noise does cause her to pause and jump.  "I... hope we're not going into a maze of explosions.  A pitch dark maze of explosions, but at least they'd light the way!"

She'll linger back and hover toward Tor, offering her hand to him.  "I apologize for my rudeness yesterday.  I'm Daesa Lightspire.  I was tired from the long journey, and ready for rest."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 13 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 08:51
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Nodding politely, Tor took her hand and shook it, "Tor, sometimes called 'the Younger', though I suspect the lack of others of my name here will make that unnecessary". He smiled, looking on the verge of saying something further but his eyes darted to the guards, "If the maze permits, I have a few questions once we have entered"
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 33 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Thu 9 Feb 2017
at 08:17
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan sighed softly and turned, leaning up against the wall to the right of their chosen entrance and crossing his arms over his chest. He waited patiently for someone pick and hand him a light source, leaving it up to his travel companions whether they should use one of the globes or stick to torches for now. He gave Tor and Daesa a curious look, apparently listening very closely to their conversation.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 27 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 00:39
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Since Daesa has no idea how long they're going to be in this maze, she decides to start with one of the shorter term light sources.  She does have the month long one, but figures that should be used as needed, so they don't get stuck in the darkness with out a source of light.  With a deep breath she walks through the door and into the room, looking about as she does.

"Of course, I'd be happy to answer anything that I can.  I warn you though, I'm the odd woman out.  Everyone here seems to know each other, or at least crossed paths, I'm just the random element in the equation."  She says brightly after she shakes Tor's hand.

She winces slightly in the dim light and looks over her shoulder at Taelan, than the others before she continues on.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 14 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 13:58
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
With a nod, Tor hefted his pack to sit more comfortably on his shoulders as Daesa pulled out her torch and lit it. He followed silently into the room, staying a few paces behind the torchbearer and peering out beyond the circle of light to try and keep some of his night vision. With the Baron's men supposedly out of earshot, he glanced between his companions and began to speak, but quietly

"North of my home is a small city, Karsha. In the hills that overlook it, a barrow. No-one visits the barrow, so they say."

He paused, continuing if not interrupted, "Within the barrow I found an obelisk. Jet black and non-reflecting. It spoke to me, called itself a Child and me a Father..."

"Did you all come here via these Childs? What were you told of the Mother? Of you being Fathers? Are you, I known Taelan is. I am"

This message was last edited by the player at 22:06, Fri 10 Feb 2017.

Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 34 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 18:01
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan sighs softly as the groups starts to head in after lighting a torch, pushing off the wall to stand straight and follow after. He gives Daesa an odd look as she mentions how she's the odd one out but a part of him doubts that. He has no proof to the contrary but he finds it hard to believe that out of all these people from his past that only one member of the party isn't tied to him somehow. He says nothing though but what Tor says prompts him to speak. "You showing up was the first mention any of us has heard of a Child involved in all this. As far as Mother and Father goes that's all a mystery. If you have more information share it." His outright hostility towards Tor seems to have ebbed away a bit with a night of rest but he still seems a bit uneasy, curious what could have brought him so far just to join this party.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 28 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Sat 11 Feb 2017
at 00:19
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa turns to stare at Tor as he makes his explanation.  "I uh... I haven't birthed any stones, and none of them have called me Mother.  So I'm afraid I'm not much help there."  While it's a little odd, seeing how strange this place is, she isn't too perturbed about it.

"Well hopefully you will find some answers here.  Maybe you're destined to find a wife?  Not that there are living things here, and if there are they're probably going to try and kill us."  She pauses for a beat before she smirks at the others.  "Isn't it exciting?"
The Strange
 GM, 85 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Sat 11 Feb 2017
at 00:39
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2145 hours

As the group first enters the passageway, the sounds of the city mute a bit for a moment, almost as if the threshold of the quadrant is somehow separated from the rest of the city by an invisible barrier. Even the light of Daesa's torch flickers a moment as that "barrier" is crossed, it's glow dimming visibly, and the radius of cast light visibly retracting several feet.

Moments later, as you push further in, walking down the thin corridor two by two, the entrance opens up once more into a much larger causeway. This appears to lead out into what can only be described as a courtyard. Your entrance is almost central in the north wall, while a small alleyway can be seen in the southeast corner of the area.

The courtyard itself is an example of ancient disarray. Crumbling building walls surround on all sides, each going up only twenty feet, uniformly, with empty space above it only barely visible in the reduced range of your light. Caved in doors dot the walls here and there, long-since rendered unusable.

Rubble dots the ground. Some of it appears to have been pushed to the corners, but even more is just strewn out in the open. Stone, dust, metal, and other detritus can be seen. Occasionally, a crumbling bone, dessicated and rendered unidentifiable by age, can be found as well.

Central to this area is a massive structure, easily taller than the surrounding buildings, stretching up out of sight. Multiple layers, tiers growing larger the closer to the ground, are visible, with odd metal appendages sticking out at irregular levels from it. This catches Dexil's attention first, the white, featureless mask he has started wearing preventing any view into his reaction. He remains silent for the moment while kneeling at the base of this large structure. "There are holes..." escapes him eventually, as his hand sifts through the garbage at the base of it.

As the others mention the Mothers, Fathers, and Children, Jaeda nods, fingers idly stroking Puffball in the little sling she'd set up for him near her chest. "First I heard of it was when the Baron mentioned it... or what it the Priestess? Something about their research in the city pointing to us with a glyph translated as 'father', and the pyramid represented by 'mother'. Or something like that. Nothing about 'children'... then Dexil asking us if we were fathers out on the road..."

Dexil pops his head up, "I did what?"

During this, Lofwyr's eyes go to the building. A torch is pulled from his own bag, which he lights using Daesa's, silently, before walking to the edge of the west wall. His eyes close a moment, before flecks of metal begin to orbit his body, slowly, seeming to lift him on an unseen wind. A moment later, he's looking over the lip of the building wall. Above him, perhaps ten feet higher, is a solid ceiling, stretching unbroken as far as the light carries. "There are multiple floors here, it would seem. I don't recall them saying anything about that. Wonder if the other teams discovered this."

With that, he floats back down, and extinguishes his torch, walking back to the others. "I believe the glyphs are rough translations, to be honest. I've been considering it... we're talking something at least a full world past, if not more. Translations are almost never direct. It could implicate some sort of relation."

He then looks to Tor, "It can't be a coincidence that the trend continues. Tell us about the Child?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:24, Sat 11 Feb 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 15 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sun 12 Feb 2017
at 22:32
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
No stranger to the delicate traces of ages past, Tor still fell silent as they entered the chamber. His eyes scoured the room, taking in the detritus and ruin for a few moments, but his attention was pulled back inward when first Jaeda and then Lofwyr mentioned the gylphs of the Father and Mother. His knuckles cracked as one hand unconsciously tighten into a fist, but he relaxed it with an effort and squatted on his knees to observe the scene from a different perspective, studying the dusty floor and the the sheer scale of the central building.

"It definitely has many floors", he murmured to himself, before glancing back at Lofwyr's question. He sighed, to himself and stood.

"Outside the city of Karsha, I went into one of the barrow. I found the remains of a Child. An obelisk much like the pyramid that hangs over the city. I touched the broken stone and it spoke to me."

He shuddered, his tone becoming that of one recalling something remembered by rote, "Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.0.0.2.1.1.4D. That's me. 2.0.11.2-A. That was the Child. It had something, a gift, that a foolish nobleman's foolish son had stolen when he desecrated it. An unworthy boy, who died a meaningless death as a man"

Gazing everywhere except Taelan, he adds, "But the man had a key upon him when he died."

"It showed me a band of quickened men and women", he rushed on, "Designate 'Fathers'. From many places and stories. They looked very much like you... They were approaching the prison of the Unit:Designate:Mother. "

After a moment's silence he adds, "This prison. This city "
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 29 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 00:46
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa listens to all of this new information, and when she gets a look at just how high Lofwyr is flying she bites her lip.  This is going to be far more complicated than she realized.  When Tor spouts out a series of numbers, she tries to follow along, but it's nothing she's ever heard of before.

"Did you bring the child with you?  I am curious to see if it speaks to others, and perhaps it will confirm your theory?"  The rest of the conversation sinks in and she shakes her head.  "If this is a prison, as the child says it is, than perhaps we shouldn't be meddling with it.  Who knows what was locked away."
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 35 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 01:27
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
At the mention of holes from Dexil a shiver runs down Taelan's spine, frowning as he is sure he doesn't want to meet whatever could potentially come from those holes. His hand slips to the hilt of his weapon, at the ready to use it should something arrive that plans to do violently horrible things to them. While listening as the others make observations his attention is more focus on potential entry or exit points in the area, watching for some unknown entity to walk through or potential routes forward. As Tor starts to speak Taelan freezes at the mention of Karsha, his eyes snapping in his direction. At the mention of the gift his eyes narrowed for a moment and his hand reflexively grips the hilt. As if struck by something he blinks and then sighs, taking a deep breath and loosening his grip a little.

He let's Daesa and Tor finish before stepping forward, reaching towards the point where his weapon was strapped to his hip, removing it in a practiced motion. He holds in front of him, giving those close enough a clearer view of it. The hilt is slightly rounded with a square shaped cross guard. The blade itself is seemingly sheathed inside a square shaped scabbard looking to be made of overlapping layers of metal without any seeming pattern, making the purpose behind its appearance unclear. He looks at it for a moment before asking, "This gift... the one that was being held by this Child you keep talking about the one the nobleman had taken... is this it? Because I don't feel like dancing around this issue any more."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:06, Thu 16 Feb 2017.

Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 30 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 01:53
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa stares at the sword, looking very confused.  "Wait, so you might have a key to ancient prison?  This does not sit well with me at all."  She switches the torch to her other hand and sighs, looking at all of those who are gathered.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 16 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 13:08
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Laughing, Tor turned to Daesa, "Perhaps I was unclear - the 'Child' was a massive onyx obelisk three times my height". He tensed as Taelan approached, drawing his blade as he came, but held his reactions in check for long enough for his ex-student to speak. He studied the blade with his eyes, with it's over-regular shape and geometric scabbard, then sighed, "You would have been better to report the scene then to take this from that fool... But it is long done. Yes, I believe the sword is the key"
The Strange
 GM, 86 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 23:23
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2215 hours

Dexil shakes his head, "I do not understand. I said nothing about Fathers before. I do not know what you mean." Looking back at the structure, he sifts his hands over the floor, "This, at least, makes more sense. These would be drainage holes... for something to flow into. There is signs of rust on the metal."

Jaeda, on the other hand, looks to the others. "So you're saying we're each a Father. Whatever that means. And what's trapped above us is a Mother. And there are Children... yours with a gift. That those are 'designations'." She looks to Lofwyr, nodding at his suggestion, before looking back, pausing as more is offered. She looks to Taelan as he shows his sword, and then to Daesa, "This 'mother' could be anything, or anyone. We all know, I'm sure, that not everyone in prison is rightfully so. Or that they deserve to be locked there forever. If there is a system in place to free her... who's to say that 'prison' is an accurate word, either? I sure know that I won't be fathering any children any time soon."

As Taelan holds out the sword, and addresses it as a gift, there is a momentary stillness. Unnatural. The pure absence of sound is itself almost deafening, until a low buzz can be felt, more than heard, coming from it.  The moment passes, and the sound slowly seeps back in.
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 36 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Wed 15 Feb 2017
at 18:34
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Confirmation of yet another seemingly random coincidence shook Taelan on several levels. His hand gripped the sword almost by instinct and pulled it back to him, his eyes staring into Tor as his paranoia flared again feeding his fear and anxiety. That energy built up within Taelan in that moment and having nowhere to channel it went somewhere most likely a little unhealthy. Anger.

"THAT IS NOT-" Taelan yelled in fury, catching himself mid sentence as he heard his own words echo back to him. With a sideways glance to Daesa he took a sharp breath before staring harshly at Tor again, his tone making it clear that he was trying his best not to shout. "That is not an excuse for what they did. I was a child. When a child steals something you reprimand them with a slap on their wrist and the threat of taking them to their mother. You don't go to their home and..." His words trailed off as he refused to speak the words, turning sharply as he walked a few steps away from the group, his right hand balled into a fist while the other tightly gripped the scabbard of his weapon.

This did not stop his ranting though. "Since the moment that bird showed up I should have known this was going to be trouble. All of a sudden people from my past are all being drawn together to be sent on this mission talking about Fathers and Mothers and now Children." He turns towards the group, face red with anger. "And now I'm being told that this thing, this thing that ruined my life, is somehow tied to this floating pyramid above our heads? The only thing I have left is this damn thing and now you're telling me it-" His train of thought gets cut off again, but this time by something else. His sword. He stares at it in a moment of horror as the low buzz starts coming from it before looking upwards and around, confusion clear on his face. He blinks in bewilderment before looking to the rest of the party. "Did... did the rest of you hear that?"
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 32 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 00:43
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa clears her throat when Tor points out the obvious about the obelisk.  "Well, I thought it might have been one of those... travel sized... obelisk...  They exist... some where."  She says nervously as her cheeks redden in embarrassment.

Listening to Jaeda's words she nods her head thoughtfully.  "You have a point, perhaps this place was meant to keep the mother safe rather than the other way around."  Though another revelation causes her to raise her brow and look downward at herself.  "Yeah I don't think I'll be fathering anything either, and I don't think this is really a place I'd want to mother either."

Taelan's outburst causes her to jump, and she listens as he spouts out a bit of his past.  She takes one step closer, but stops herself from going further.  She doesn't need to be an empath to read that he isn't the sort to enjoy comfort.  Especially not now.  However when the sword reacts she freezes, feeling that buzz in the air, but hearing nothing.

"Yes... well no, I didn't hear anything and that's the problem... You should probably put that sword away."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 18 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 09:32
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Standing silently whilst the young jack worked out his anger, Tor said nothing. Sometimes these things must be let run their course. He had seen both the boy and his frustrated, even angry before, but nothing this ... intense. Just the usual frustration of students trying to find their way in the world. He stood, letting the words wash over him. He stood, and he listened. Perhaps the Baron's response had been harsher than he had heard about. It sounded ... disproportionate. He opened his mouth to speak, only half paying attention to Daesa's mumbled apologies, then - when Taelan's anger left him suddenly deflated - his listening caught up

"What did you hear", he asked softly
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 38 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 16:31
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan closed his eyes for a moment as he shoulders tensed, still tightly gripping the sword in his left hand. He tried to calm himself but that proved harder than he could muster, a long sigh escaping him carrying with it a small hint of a growl. Opening his eyes again he addressed the group, not looking to anyone in particular. "It was... strange. It sounded like a voice but it was coming from around us, not Griever." He looked to the sword before shaking his head, closing his eyes again. "It was all disjointed, didn't make much sense... 'A gift. Of many. Child give to Father. Freedom. So close.' Does that make any sort of sense to any of you?"
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 19 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 16:38
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Griever is the blade?", continued Tor softly, trying to bring the young man back to a place of calm, "From that I would say it is more than that, a key"
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 33 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 03:39
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Perhaps, you are hearing the words of the one bound by this... key that you have."  Daesa says quietly, watching the reaction between her companions.  "Look, we could sit here and speculate what is to come, or we can go face it.  This light won't last forever."

She sighs and runs her fingers through her deep red hair.  "Shall we?"

This message was last edited by the player at 16:30, Fri 17 Feb 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 88 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 01:07
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Lofwyr looks over at everyone, strangely calm throughout the explosion of exposition... but chuckles, taking one of the markers off his wristband. It telescopes out, slightly, growing into a small tripod. He places it on the ground near where Dexil is hunched over. Finally, he speaks, "I'd love to know more about the key, too... but if we're going to move on, we should likely do what they're paying us for, first. Search, recover, put what we don't want here. I think it's safe to assume this room is free of beasties, so..." and with that, he heads over to a corner to sift through rubble.

OOC:
Anyone wishing to search, let me know a general where and what, and please roll a public Intelligence check at level 5. (d20, target 15. Pool points can be spent before you roll if you wish -- declare the spend in your roll)

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 20 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 05:46
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
With one eye kept on Taelan, Tor turned his attention to where Dexil had claimed there was tubes or holes or chutes of some kind and began his own search there

OOC:
05:43, Today: Tor the Younger rolled 17 using 1d20.  Searching Chamber - Training, Expending Effort (Intellect).
GM Edit: Effort cost 3. Difficulty dropped 1. Training dropped 1. Difficulty dropped to 3. Target is 9. 17 Succeeds by 8.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:54, Sat 25 Feb 2017.

Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 39 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 07:54
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
As Tor asked if Griever was the name of his sword Taelan nodded slowly and exhaled sharply through his nose, returning his weapon to the strapping on his hip and taking a step away from the group, pointedly turning away from the others as he tried to calm himself though he had little success in that effort. At one point his shoulders would tense a bit and he would glance over his shoulder towards the group before looking to Lofwyr and nodding again. "Yes... Distraction would be best right now... Let's do what we've been hired to do..." He would roll his neck from side to side and tilt his hat back a bit to less obscure his view as he searched the room admittedly a little separated from the group as he tried to bring down his temper.


OOC::
23:46, Today: Taelan Faswell rolled 15 using 1d20.  Searching Chamber, trained in Perception tasks, aiming for 12. Yay, not another 1!
GM Edit: That's a success by three.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:04, Sat 25 Feb 2017.

Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 34 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Sun 26 Feb 2017
at 20:42
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Good plan."  Daesa responds as she adjusts her pack on her back and starts to do a bit of searching herself.  "Is it really safe to assume that?  I have a feeling that nothing in this place is safe to assume anything."

[OOC]: 15:10, Today: Daesa Lightspire rolled 1 using 1d20.  Searching the Chamber. No modifers.
The Strange
 GM, 89 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Mon 27 Feb 2017
at 18:48
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
OOC:
Thankfully, this is a group challenge, and as such a 1 doesn't mean a disastrous failure immediately (possible). Indeed, the forced intrusion Daesa gets as a result could happen at any time (depends in part on what I roll her finding -- mwahahaha).

That said, total target between the 6 of you was 72. (9+12+12+12+15). Total roll: 68. So... it was an overall failure, but not enough to be disastrous. Just not very profitable. Dexil and Lofwyr find nothing. The rest of you will be pinged with private roll requests. We can discuss what you find in private messages here on the board or on the Discord. What you do with them is up to you (add them to the pile of things to go back to the soldiers near the beacon Lofwyr set down to go into your group payout, into your pockets, or split amongst the team,

Following up with further roll requests for loot.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:19, Tue 28 Feb 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 92 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 28 Feb 2017
at 20:46
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2315 Hours

The voice doesn't return to Taelan once the sword is put away, although the specter of that interaction remains. Slowly each of you begin to sift through the rubble, giving a good hour or so to the task. This area, at the very least, already gives an impression of already being well-sifted through, enough so that neither Dexil or Lofwyr find much of anything of note.

Jaeda keeps to one corner, mostly, pocketing a few shins she finds here and there. . Aside from that, she actually drags over anything else she finds and places it by the beacon.

The first thing she finds, of all things, looks like a pair of oversized, metal boots. Initially, she hisses when she grabs them, throwing them away from her in disgust and fear as they sizzle and steam once revealed to the air... almost looking red hot. She pauses, however, looking confused as she looks at her unmarred fingers. She walks over to them again, placing a hand near them, and frowns, "No heat..." A tentative touch, and then she grabs them again, gingerly dropping them by the beacon, "Spirits take them... things are likely cursed. Let the Baron deal with it."

After that, she brings out what looks like a small, clear canister filled with an ever-broiling smoke, attached to a spray nozzle of some sort, a pair of gloves and goggles connected by wires that she similarly gives a wide, disgusted berth to, and finally a sheet of synth, she looks at, grimaces at, and then places in the growing pile as if it were filth. Clearly, not a great haul in her estimation.

OOC:
Those who find anything, feel free to share what others can see you grab in your replies. Also let me know in PMs if you wish to investigate anything left behind by the others.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:21, Thu 02 Mar 2017.

Lofwyr Hawkesong
 Clever Nano, 9 posts
 Nano
 Ports and Plugs
Wed 1 Mar 2017
at 05:20
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Lofwyr frowns (he isn't pouting, no matter what anyone says) as his search turns up nothing. At least most of the others are having better luck, though Jaeda at least doesn't seem to be properly appreciative.

"Hey, you don't mind if I look at these, do you? Thanks!" Not waiting for an answer, he bends down to examine the superstitious woman's castoffs. Those boots are interesting. He lays a hand on them, marveling at the appearance of heat without any of the effects. "They're burn-y boots, but without the burn! Though, I wonder…" He trails off as he reaches under his hood and plucks out a long black hair, then sets it carefully on one of the boots and leans back to see if it burns.

"Well, that's a little disappointing," he says as the hair sits there, decidedly un-burned. The numenera having apparently lost his interest, he sifts through the other items before holding up the gloves-and-goggles combo. "I'm gonna take these. The Baron can have his weird corpse dissolver back." He digs through his pouches for a moment before pulling out the wrist-mounted device he'd taken back in Labaryth and adding it to the pile.

OOC:
Lofwyr Hawkesong rolled 2 using 1d20+1.  Numenera (trained, +1 asset).

This message was last edited by the player at 20:48, Thu 02 Mar 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 21 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 2 Mar 2017
at 13:42
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
With a smile at Lofwyr's pout and trade (or switch and bait, he couldn't be sure), Tor added a pair of items he had uncovered to the pile: a single antler made from frozen fire and a set of chimes. When he set the latter down, an inhuman growling and muttering echoed as is far off in the distance. Glancing at the others, the delver winced, "Perhaps one to keep with us..."

He considered for a moment and then wrapped the chimes in a spare shirt and placed them close to the top of his pack. He slipped a handful of shins into a belt pouch almost without thought and held up a final item so that the light caught it and he might consider what it could be, or do. From close by it appeared to be some wriggling hair worm, contained within a small vial. Given the humour and strangeness of some of those who had come before, it was probably meant to be ingested

OOC:
13:35, Today: Tor the Younger rolled 16 using 1d20.  Numenera. Trained => Cypher Lore

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:01, Thu 02 Mar 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 93 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 2 Mar 2017
at 18:13
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
OOC:
Private Responses

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:15, Thu 02 Mar 2017.

Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 24 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Thu 2 Mar 2017
at 22:22
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil rose from his fruitless task and observed Lofwyr's examination of the cyphers as well as Tor's contribution to the collection. Moving forward with an even pace, he joined them around the beacon. After observing the worm-vial Tor was holding up for a second he turned his attention to the antler and picked it up, his movements as expressionless as the mask on his face. The oddity glew when his hands touched it and slowly a semblance of a smile spread across until then unseen mouth like slit, as Dexil put the now shiny antler into his pack.

Attention turning back to the pile, and his expression once again blank, he carefully picked up the smoke-vial, turning it over in his hands as he peered at it, his eye-slits narrowing. With a nod, he pulls out a vial of his own, this one containing a silvery liquid, and replaces it with the new found. "Stone-eater." he comments matter of factly as he leaves the old cypher at the beacon.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 35 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Fri 3 Mar 2017
at 01:46
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa doesn't find a whole lot.  Perhaps her mind isn't in it, and it's occupied by other things and thinking about what has happened and what is to come.  Still after the hour has passed she does return with a pair of strapless goggles that she holds up.  "I don't think these are a cypher, I think they're old.  Really old."  She holds them up toward the group, wondering if it's even worth putting in the pile.
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 40 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Fri 3 Mar 2017
at 08:07
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan would remain mostly quiet as he did his own search until he gave out a small yell of surprise followed by, "This... this is just too much..." Looking his way the group would see him holding a small box with the lid open. Inside was what looked like a very intricately carved bust of Lofwyr. Taelan snapped the lid shut and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath to calm himself though it seemed like if he had the power smoke would be billowing from his nostrils. He looked to Lofwyr, opening the box again. "Would you mind explaining why there is glass version of your head in this-" But he would stop and look perplexed at the box, realizing where once there had been a glass bust of Lofwyr there was now one of Dexil with the same expression he currently he had at the exact moment. Confused he would close and open the box again, watching as the old bust crumbled and reformed into another face, this time the face of Daesa.

With a small huff Taelan would snap the box closed one more time and shake his head in frustration. "It's just mimicking the faces of people nearby." He set the box down into the pile most likely a little harder than necessary and set a small cypher alongside it, a small disk that was flat on one side with little sharp hairs on the other. Stomping away he would adjust his hat while muttering under his breath. "I hate this place..."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 22 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 3 Mar 2017
at 13:33
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"It is unnerving", agreed Tor, shivering slightly and discarding a small cube with a glass top from his pack
The Strange
 GM, 95 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Sun 5 Mar 2017
at 19:25
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
OOC:
So items being left behind: Wrist launcher, cube with a glass top, steel container with silver grease, small metal disc, and Taelan's scary little box. These items are now considered inaccessible... you will not be able to come back for them later. Total worth per the agreement with the Baron: 12 shins.


Time: 2345 Hours

Leaving the previous room, confident that everything that can be found has been, the group proceeds, walking through the wide "passageway" to the south. Torch in hand, Daesa leads the group forward.

The surrounding walls remain much the same... occasionally a ruined, impassable door found, but otherwise not much changes. Debris crunches underfoot as you break through to another large area, almost identical in size to the first. Another similar passageway exits to the south.

Jaeda walks about midway through the group, her hand idly petting the furry creature at her chest in its sling. "The place is unnerving, agreed... but I think you may be giving it too much power, Tee. We've all been drawn here. Thirty-seven of us, if I remember what the baron said properly. So yes, the rest of us are connected to you, but this is greater than any one of us. I get the feeling we'll find answers if we press on."

As she says this, Daesa stops, suddenly, as a thin, red light pierces the gloom. A soft beep, barely audible over the other mechanical noises of the city, can be heard. Several more can be heard, and four additional red beams shoot out, none of them touching the team, or coming close to, but they clearly block passage further... unless one can sneak past or break the beams.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 36 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 05:30
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
For the moment, Daesa holds on to her find, leaving it in her satchel for the moment, and plans on depositing it when they get to their next beacon.  That bizarre head in a box thing causes her to make a face, obviously she did not approve of her own likeness.

Taking the lead with her torch, she is careful as she walks, which is probably a good thing since those red laser like beams pop out in front of her.  "Ehm.  Well.  As much as I'd like to continue on, I have a slight fear that this is going to rip me in half so..."  She takes a few paces back and out of the way.

"Maybe we should throw something at it and see what happens."
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 25 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 06:19
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil stopped alongside everyone else and peered curiously at the beams. Taking a few steps left and right to observe them, he raised his hand at Daesa. "Don't throw anything." He traced the beams with his finger towards the rubble they originated from. "Gazers." he proclaimed and then wondered aloud "Guardian lazers? Gazing lasers?" shaking his head he returned to his explanation "Breaking a beam will activate the combat drone. If clustered like this they will likely all follow."

His slits narrowing he rattled on in almost mechanical voice "Option. Clear the rubble around one. Don't disturb the beam. Investigate. Deactivate. Option. Engage and destroy. Dangerous. Option. Contain. Unknown."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 23 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 08:36
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Gazers?", repeated Tor, rolling the word around his head to see if he could recall anything from his delves into the chasms near home. He crouched, head cocked as he listened to the young jack's monotone assessment of their options. Perhaps he could see something of the emitters or drones amidst the rubble

OOC:
08:31, Today: Tor the Younger rolled 11 using 1d20.  Perception. Trained, Expending Effort (2 Intellect).

The Strange
 GM, 96 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 17:56
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
The object Dexil points out is mostly buried in the rubble strewn about the area... although once a light source gets closer, part of it is visible. The device seems strangely spherical in nature, clearly mechanical, and the best guess you have is that it is about the size of a human skull...perhaps a bit smaller.

A soft beeping emanates, nearly inaudible, from the one closest to the group.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 24 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 21:20
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Rocking back on his heels, Tor remained at a crouch. He called out softly to the others, not taking his gaze from the devices, "I have seen these before, in the presence of the Child..."
Lofwyr Hawkesong
 Clever Nano, 10 posts
 Nano
 Ports and Plugs
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 17:48
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"That would be the pillar thing? Were they doing anything there or were they just decoration?" Lofwyr wonders, only half expecting an answer. "Anyway, I vote for the not-fighting plan. One killer robot is fine, a roomful is less fine."

He peers at the room for a moment, then says, "I think I might be able to figure out how to turn them off, but I'd need to tinker a bit to do it. D'you know if touching them will set them off too?"
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 41 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 18:04
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan gives Jaeda a sideways glance at her comment as he stays on the defensive as they move forward. "You may be right but if it turns out I happen to know those other thirty-seven as well I may lose my damn mind."

As the beams of light become active in front of them Griever is removed from the belt strapping once more and Taelan holds it by the hilt losely in his right hand though he keeps it in the scabbard with comment as to why. Walking up to but several feet behind Tor he cranes his neck a bit to look at the one everyone else is looking around before glancing to the others. "There has to be some way of getting through this without setting them off. I could probably get through this fine but... no offense but I don't think everyone could. Could they possibly be all connected? Maybe there's some kind of control on the other side of the room to turn them all off?"
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 26 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 19:56
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil cocked his head as he considered the myriad of questions and suggestions. His voice reverted to human, although he still spoke with precision as he gave further information. "They are sensitive, the beams more than casings. Be gentle."  he answered Lofwyr before giving a shake of his head and addressing T "Gazers are autonomous. Connected so far as to rise together. Using that link to disable all would be... difficult. Codes were likely used for authorized persons to bypass them. If we find a working algorithm it would be better to apply it to each individually."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 25 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 10:02
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Before", began Tor, "When I found the Child, I mean. All of these .. Gazers .. had been destroyed, carved apart. I'm unsure whether I would have been able to defeat them, or even if they would have fought me."

He stood, making a choice and stepped one pace closer to the beams, calling out into the darkness, "I am a Father. I seek the Mother. Will you let me pass?"
The Strange
 GM, 97 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 15:35
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2405 Hours

As Tor steps forward, Jaeda makes her own move, securing Puffball in his sling tightly with a quick mental command, to which he obediently responds, slowly pulling two rapiers from her side. The first has a slightly dazzling ribbon of blue light dancing across its blade, while the other seems to almost wreathe itself in shadow. Underfoot, something crunches, as she looks down, the broken remains of another, inactive Gazer crushing beneath her foot, the globe long ago hollowed out. "Demons of air it is..." The shadowed blade returns to its sheathe. "Do what you must... I will prepare to battle."

As Tor stands and speaks out... nothing happens. The steady beeping continues, and the beams remain in place. Clearly, they are not sound or voice activated.

OOC:
Currently, we have had two viable options to get past that have been presented so far, be it in thread or via PM.

First, you can all attempt to sneak around the beams. This would be an L6 Speed task, which Acrobatics could be used as a skill to lower difficulty. EACH of you would need to succeed a single such attempt. One failure would activate all 5 Gazers, and initiate combat. Applicable Esoteries, Tricks, Secrets, or Moves may also be used to further reduce the difficulty.

Second, one of you can attempt to deactivate the Gazers. This would be done one at a time. It would require an L4 Intellect task, with either a Numenera or Automata skill able to be applied to lower the difficulty. However: This would need to be successfully completed /5/ times. A single failure would activate any non-deactivated Gazers and initiate combat. Applicable Esoteries, Tricks, Secrets, or Moves may also be used to further reduce the difficulty.

Of course, you could always go with the idea of throwing someone/something at a gazer, although that would, indeed, initiate combat. :)

Or, if a third idea is presented, I will advise what the difficulty there would be.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:44, Thu 09 Mar 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 26 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 10 Mar 2017
at 16:15
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
With a nod to the glaive preparing for combat, and a shake of his head at the unresponsiveness of the Gazers, Tor bent to try and tinker with the nearest - leaning perhaps too far over

OOC:
16:14, Today: Tor the Younger rolled 2 using 1d20.  Numenera (Trained), Expending Effort (2 Intellect).

The Strange
 GM, 98 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Sun 12 Mar 2017
at 00:32
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Slowly, carefully, Tor and Lofwyr kneel next to the first gazer, Daesa standing beside them to provide light. Time passes... both considering what to do next.

They both reach out almost instantaneously, Lofwyr's first, the skin of the hand actually sliding apart, wires beginning to extrude and snake out toward the object. However, this occurs almost instantaneously with Tor's own reach, and the two hands collide. Coiling back, slightly, Tor's hand lightly brushes along the edge of the Gazer's beam.

Instantly, all five beams shut off... the sources suddenly shuddering, pulling themselves out of the rubble. Each slightly illuminates the area around itself, its metallic skin covered in lights, ports, and unidentifiable extrusions. The globes are each just slightly smaller than a human skull, and float about five feet above the ground.

OOC:
Battle has commenced. Please see the OOC thread.

The Strange
 GM, 106 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 16 Mar 2017
at 16:05
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2410

As the Gazers come to life, slowly rising, spinning to face each of you, time almost seems to slow, each of you coming into focus as your training comes into play. Battle may not be the focus of your lives, but this is part of what you trained for... why you were chosen for this mission.

Tor's eyes scan over the opponents, and he quickly notices, even in the dim light from Daesa's torch, that they have a clear front -- the area where the lasers were emitting from -- and back -- characterized by a small exhaust port. Taking a breath as he readies his whip, Tor calls out, "Aim for the vent at the back!"

Nodding an acknowledgement, even as he pulls out his bow and nocks an arrow, Dexil focuses on one of the further gazers in his field of vision. Although he cannot target the vent from this angle, he can definitely get a good bead on its forward laser. Even as the thin red beam spins and focuses on Taelan, the beam starting to intensify, Dexil lets loose. The arrow flies true, arcing through the air, striking a weak point directly above the beam's origin. The gazer's shot goes wide, slicing just above Taelan's head, before it clatters to the ground in a shower of sparks and electronic screams.

Taelan, on the other hand, almost seems to focus his anger as he pulls Griever out once again, his eyes tracing the failed gazer's laser beam as it passes his head. Turning his head to the side, he spits on the ground, barely growling out a "Fine." His arm extends, Griever at the ready. The blade begins to hum once more, still in its sheathe... but that begins to change. Accompanying the hum are a series of mechanical clicks and whirs, as the sheathe begins to expand, unfold, and separate. Parts actually separate and float out, shifting and moving to extend the sheathe into an actual blade, the 'dagger' becoming an elongated, mechanical rapier.

Stepping away from the Gazer he and Tor were interacting with, Lofwyr pulls out a dart thrower, checking the battlefield for an opportunity.

The remaining gazers begin darting around the battlefield, clearly looking for opportunities to group together... however, no other attacks are attempted by them at the moment.

As the gazer closest to Daesa flies away, she pulls out her whip, attempting to snap at it... however her attack comes up just short, the crack echoing in the air.

Jaeda, taking a brief moment, seems to focus silently, her typical bubbly and happy nature being cast aside like a second skin the moment battle commences. Shifting puffball's sling around her back as she walks with her free hand, she approaches the two nearest gazers, eyeing both, as if to determine which will be first to be bisected by the white, glowing blade.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:13, Thu 16 Mar 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 109 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 17:03
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Mere seconds have passed, and already the team has begun to get an edge on this small group of gazers. With one down, the team is emboldened, and quickly rallies to try to bring the others down as well.

As before, Tor takes the lead, stepping in toward the Gazer closest to him, and, with a practiced flip of the wrist, sends his whip to wrap about the gazer closest to him, the tip encircling it for a moment before he pulls back. The gazer is sent spinning for a moment before it rights itself... back and directly into the path of Lofwyr's dart. [Minor Success on roll of 19 -- Result: Knockback]

Dexil, shifting to the side for a moment as Daesa crosses his line of sight to approach the closer grouping of Gazers, notches another arrow, sending it arcing through the air. His aim is once again true, and the Gazer is struck directly in the laser port... clattering to the ground in the darkness beyond, lifeless.

Nearby, Taelan rushes forward toward his own Gazer, Griever at the ready and flashing down in an arc of power. The look of the move is one of shocking grace, despite the ferocity and clear anger behind it. The blade, sweeping underhand bites deeply into the Gazer, disabling it easily, and sends it flying backward in a shower of sparks. [Major Success -- Result: +2 Damage, Knockback and removing Taelan from AoE of Jaeda's failure]

Hanging back slightly, Lofwyr closes his eyes for the briefest of moments. Pores in the skin of his face and arms suddenly telescope open, arcs of blue and green energy, matching the colors int he design of the circuitry of his robes, begin to arc and hiss over his frame, snapping and crackling until the coalesce into an odd, glowing shield around his form. Then, snapping the dart thrower back in his hand, he snaps his hand forward, the dart flying fast and true toward the same Gazer Tor had damaged before. His aim is true, thanks in part to Tor's knockback, and the dart slams into the floating orb, once again sending it spinning, and into a full retreat. It's looking quite rough.

The two remaining Gazers pull back from the group, gathering together (an action they seemed to be focused on prior to this near-rout, but make no attempts to attack. It would appear they are attempting to re-assess the situation.

Delayed and frustrated, Daesa does her best to keep the team's only source of light alight, rushing toward the two remaining orbs.

Jaeda, on the other hand, shows for the first time her warrior's grace. At a full run, sliding between the two Gazers nearest her, she pulls back out her other sword in a clean, practiced draw that is nearly impossible to track with its swiftness. Seeing one of her quarry quickly dart out of range, she focuses both of her strikes against the remaining gazer, both rapiers piercing through it as Taelan knocks it back, holding it in place in the air.

[Intrusion per Critical Failure]

As the sword of darkness plunges into the metal skin of this floating demon, Jaeda's eyes widen, just slightly, as she hears a thin, high-pitched whine. Feeling a sudden surge of demonic energy pulse through both of her blades,  Jaeda realizes in the split seconds she has that this is not ending well. Desperately, she waves her swords in a forward push to get the beast off her blades. She succeeds, and it goes flying, but not far enough to keep anyone but herself out of the blast radius when it explodes.

The impact sends Jaeda flying, prone on her back, her swords clattering to the ground. That looks like it hurt.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:18, Sun 19 Mar 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 113 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 21:37
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Still recovering from the sudden explosion, Jaeda slowly rises to her feet, watching as Tor moves to her side, and Taelan stands in front of her, both taking protective stances by her as she fumbles about for her weapons and gets her bearings again.

The two remaining gazers zero in almost immediately on Taelan, twin lights on each lighting up as they begin to concentrate for a flurry of attacks against him. In that instance, as Daesa and Lofwyr shift once again, trying to get in their own attacks, Tor lashes out at one of the two, itself nearly at the end of the effective range of his whip, sending it clattering, lifeless, to the ground, both of its laser shots sizzling just above Taelan's head before it goes.

To the side, Dexil actually grumbles, an almost unheard "...wasteful..." slipping past his lips as he shifts himself and draws a bead on the remaining gazer. A split-second pause, a negative grunt, and then a shift of his aim, then, before he lets another arrow fly. Like his last shot, it flies true, striking the remaining gazer. This, however, wedges in between two small vents on the side, nearly imperceptible.

The second gazer does not get its own shot off... but is instead encased for a moment in a shower of sparks as it drops to the floor... hovering there still, shuddering with the arrow embedded in its side... before slowly setting to the ground. It's lights remain on, the primary source of the original beam swivelling, tracking each of the party members.

OOC:
Combat is over. Per Dexil's HWYLTDT, he chose to attempt to disable the Gazer rather than destroy it, and succeeded in an additional, L6 skill roll. So long as the arrow is in its side, it will not be able to attack, and can potentially be interacted with (so much as is possible).

XP: Now, although technically in this game combat does not award XP, I do intend to hand it out, since we've so far done the equivalent of a single session of gameplay in a matter of months. :) So XP awards are artificially 'accelerated' to compensate.

Everyone earns 1 XP for surviving the battle.
For landing successful strikes: Lofwyr, Tor, Dexil, and Taelan earn an additional 1XP
For successful 'kills': Tor, Taelan, and Dexil earn an additional 1 XP
MVP of battle: Dexil gains an additional 1 XP.

Sheets have been updated. Most of you now have 4 or more XP. As a result, you now have the option to spend XP to potentially work toward increasing your Tier (which is how you get more powerful).

Reference: http://xanorak.wikidot.com/notes-on-experience-points

Just PM me in discord with spends, and we can hash out ideas.

We are now back in regular posting state. Feel free to return to previous posting rules (three pose rule in effect again now that we have a full roster again -- allow at least two others to pose before you pose again, not including the GM). Only two minutes have passed since Tor triggered the Gazers.

Also, several of you have used a number of pool points. You may wish to take advantage of the recently-posted-to0the-wiki resting rules: http://xanorak.wikidot.com/resting-and-recovery

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:38, Fri 24 Mar 2017.

Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 31 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 21:59
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Careful" Dexil warns as he approaches the still working gazer. "Don't want things to go amiss." he comments as he kneels down next to the orb and glances at Tor and Lofwyr before turning his attention to the last surviving guardian of the room. His hand moved towards it several times, reaching towards different places of the sphere, but he pulled them back each time, letting his eyes do the studying for now.

OOC:
First rest and planning
@Dexil Mark II rolled 6. (5,   1)

Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 32 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 22:46
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Back on her feet, Jaeda immediately slips past her protectors as she makes for the disabled Gazer, both her blades poised to strike a blow even as Dexil examines the fiend.

"The best way to ensure things don't go amiss is to kill the demon now, my friend," she says to Dexil, her words smooth but a definite tension around her nonetheless betrays her actual state. "I will give you benefit of the doubt that you can handle yourself as well as you did in combat. But just say the word, and my blade will finish the job."

With his nod for reassurance, Jaeda sheathes Shadow and keeps Sun at the ready, seating herself close enough to act should the Gazer react again, and far enough that she won't be hurt by it when that reaction comes.
Then she thanks both Tor and Taelan for acting as shields for her before tending to whatever scrapes and burns are across her body.

And then she notices the smell.

Pulling the end of her braid around to her eyes, she sees evidence of some singed strands, and her fingers fly to her eyes, feeling around for her eyebrows. They come away slightly ashen.

"It does not truly matter, but could anyone spare a moment to tell me if my expression is, well, charred?"

OOC:
First rest:
Floating DiceBOT - Today at 12:03 AM @Jæda Swiftsteel rolled 4. (3, 1)


OOC:
If anyone decides to respond to her question: I'd imagine for most of her hair to be there, apart from minor burning and curling to the braid and whatever wisps were around her face. As for her eyebrows, she's missing bits, little hairless spots scattered a bit among the general shape of her brows.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:12, Fri 31 Mar 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 32 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Mon 27 Mar 2017
at 14:48
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Watching the downed Gazers for a moment longer, Tor coiled the Malvichan whip carefully and hung it on his belt where it had rested before. Confident that they were dealth with, he let his eyes slid around the rest of the corridor, seeking sign of the 'child' he had seen in their presence before
The Strange
 GM, 115 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Mon 3 Apr 2017
at 21:40
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2415

Although only a few minutes maximum have passed since the team entered the room, a few of you take a moment to appreciate the silence and stillness to brace themselves, catching their wind. As Dexil kneels down to pick up and examine the lone survivor of this fight, it beeps... the cadence changing ever-so-slightly. If one were to ascribe any sort of intelligence to the item, one would almost consider a bit of fear and trepisation now in the mechanical sounds emanating from it.

Tor begins his initial look around, after noting Jaeda and Dexil discuss the downed bot, and begins a cursory review of the room. The room itself is oddly featureless. A few pillars dot the floor, or at least the nearly imperceptible remnants of such... but nothing resembling the light-absorbing Child he'd encountered previously. Instead, based on where the orbs were originally located, as well as the more decayed and lifeless bodies of the same scattered about the area, it becomes easier to presume this was once a more heavily-defended checkpoint.

From Jaeda's back comes an almost whining blat -- someone had nearly been crushed during the explosion. Now that things have quieted down, Puffball crawls out of its sling, crawling up and over Jaedas shoulder to point its massive eyes at her for a moment, before blatting again.   Then, with a nuzzle to her neck, he begins gumming at the sling, trying to shift it to her front again, before using his little hands to help as well.

OOC:
GM Posting on behalf of Daesa while she deals with RL, per our offline conversation.


Daesa, for her own part, is a little stunned at first. She had trained for this, had studied for this. A hand reaches up to the gem on her forehead, rubbing it slightly for comfort. Training against static dummies or people you had no intention to harm had little in comparison to actually wielding weapons against automata intent on killing you. Cursing herself slightly for her hesitance in this initial combat, she shakes her head, gathers her things, and puts her whip, now coiled back at her side. As the others begin to look around, she goes instead to the first dead Gazer nearest her, picking it up, turning it over in her hands. "These have been here... a long time. Undisturbed until we arrived. Who knows how many seasons? What kind of mother do you lock away and guard like this?"

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 21:41, Mon 03 Apr 2017.

Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 46 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 08:30
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
The combat behind him Taelan breathed slowly, his right hand still tightly gripping the recently elongated blade. It took a few moments of surveying the area before his defensive posture dropped, nodding appreciatively towards Dexil. It had not gone unnoticed that if the man had not fired his arrow when he did it seemed Taelan would have been the primary focus of several nasty looking attacks. He looked to his sword for a second and let out a soft sigh, closing his eyes briefly. As he did the gentle humming coming from the weapon would intensify again for a moment as the odd whirring and clicking noise start, the mental shifting and moving to reshape into the weapon's dormant state.

Replacing the weapon to his belt he turned with an eyebrow raised as Jaeda asked if her proximity to that explosion had marred her appearance in any way. Taelan's normally gruff and tense expression broke for a moment, the stark difference in his mannerisms making it clear he was holding back a laugh. He caught himself and cleared his throat, a grin appearing as he took in the damage to the woman's eyebrows. "Well... It's not... too bad I guess. I'll be honest, these have seen better days." He gestured slowly to his own eyebrows, indicating that when she next gets a chance she should inspect the damage herself. Still smirking he reach up and patted her shoulder, frowning for a moment as the small furry creature made an appearance again having obvious taken a bit of a hit during the fight. Still the creature seemed alright for the moment and concerned itself more with moving the bag it had been hiding in.

Looking between the group he would walk to Daesa, his expression a little lighter after getting to vent some of his frustration on the small angry death orbs. "Bring the light closer to the thing Dexil disabled. I want to take a closer look at the thing that tried to kill us. It may not be the last time we run into those things here."
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 33 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 08:41
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Although he pays attention to the others as they check each other over and begin to crowd the captured sentinel, Tor continued to search the chamber more thoroughly: it was not as he expected it, although his expectations are far from clear

OOC:
09:38, Today: Tor the Younger rolled 11 using 1d20.  Searching Chamber - Trained, vs L2.

Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 32 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 17:40
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil worked the sphere over in his hands, consulting a set of diagram sheets he pulled out of his bag, struggling to find something relating to the inner workings of Gazers. Whether a change of light confused the jack, or he was too certain of his own skills, but a wrong movement of the arrow as he attempted to extract it resulted in a short blaze of sparks and the mournful beeping cut off suddenly.

His eyes growing wide for a moment, and then the realization sunk in. His mask showed the most human expression it did until now, clearly mournful. "I'm sorry." he said as he gently lowered the broken thing onto the floor.

OOC:
@Dexil Mark II has failed. (Rolled 4, not greater than 9; 3, 1)

Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 33 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 21:10
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Whether it is because she is still recovering from the blast, or because her focus on the inactive Gazer is singular in its intensity, Jaeda seems to be taken by surprise more than she is accustomed to.
First, by the tell-tale smell of singed hair, the extent of it being clarified by Taelan, so kind… But any real annoyance or disappointment is lessened by his more relaxed demeanour. Hopefully it spreads amongst the group as fast as his tension seemingly did.
Second, Jaeda jolts a bit at the soft sound her Trinnet makes, and hastily assists Puffball’s efforts to move back to his original position, using this as an opportunity to check him for any wounds. He’s fine, to her relief. A moment passes where their eyes meet, and her following chuckle is soft, “Nice try, little one.”

Settled, with Sun still in her hand despite the threat of the Gazer gone, she looks to Daesa.
“That’s a good question. One I am not sure any of us can answer right away... But perhaps a change in perspective is needed. I’ve been considering: Lofwyr mentioned the glyphs on these artifacts are rough translations, so perhaps the designations are not literal titles so much as they are metaphors for roles or purposes.”

If no one responds, Jaeda continues, her eyes shifting about as if arranging the pieces of a puzzle.

“For instance,” the glaive says, with gestures between herself and the only other lady of this party, “Daesa and I are not equipped to be fathers in reality, yet we are designated ‘Father’, as you gentlemen are. Tor even confirms this with this vision he has been given of us by the obelisk,” nodding towards the seeker as he’s mentioned. “A pyramid cannot birth anything in reality, yet it is called ‘Mother”. A stone does not cry, suckle at its mother’s breast, nor even need any kind of counsel, yet it calls itself ‘Child’.”

“Perhaps, just as ships are referred to with a feminine pronoun for being vessels that carry lives, akin to how a mother carries her babes within her, this pyramid is just that: a vessel. Tor,” she calls, to gain his attention to potentially correct her, “you described the obelisk as ‘jet black and non-reflecting,’ pretty similar to this pyramid. So, a… something, carrying other things in its likeness until they need to be birthed, or delivered. The ‘Children’ could then be something upon which knowledge is to be imparted, which would make us, as the ‘Fathers’, the ones who provide this. Or perhaps, as ‘Fathers’, we are to act as caretakers of these Stones.”

“A simple enough idea to work from even as it raises its own questions, but there are two immediate things that have me potentially worried.” Jaeda turns her focus to Taelan. “One: T, when you unsheathed Griever, you heard a voice say something along the lines of ‘freedom, so close,’ correct? Granted, it is not much, but that sounds rather sinister to me. It being disembodied, I would assume it comes from this ‘Mother’, which leads back to Daesa’s question. But could it also be an unseen ‘Child’, not yet birthed, that spoke to you, T? Again, Tor, when you had the vision of us, the ‘Child’ referred to this place as ‘the prison of the Unit:Designate:Mother’. Not the prison holding the ‘Mother’, but the prison of it. That would make the ‘Mother’ and the prison the same entity. Either way, imprisonment such as this is almost never a positive thing.”

“Two,” she states, after a pause. “Dexil, at the wrecked caravan you asked us if we were the ‘Fathers’. A piece of information we did not have until Tor arrived with his vision, after the fact. I am sure I was not the only one to hear you ask, yet you denied having ever done so. Do you truly not recall this? Because this then presents a larger, more pressing, issue.”

A shiver runs down her spine at the possibility of demonic intrusion, and her concern for Dexil is writ plainly on her face. Maybe with some fear of the man himself.
Lofwyr Hawkesong
 Clever Nano, 15 posts
 Nano
 Ports and Plugs
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 03:26
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
At hearing his name, Lofwyr's head pops up from examining the destroyed Gazers for anything interesting or useful. "I said what now? I mean, yes, that's what I said, you all heard her say it and it's true. Very rough translations, metaphors for sure. Or maybe not, could be completely literal, I've seen stranger than a building having children." Turning most of his attention back to his search, he continues as if to himself, "It's all well to wonder but we don't know enough to know what we don't know, so you may be more wrong than right and regardless we're pressing on, no?"

After searching for another moment, Lofwyr lets out a delighted, "Ooh!" and holds up a bit of Gazer triumphantly. "I was looking for one of these!" he says, then sticks it into his robes. A bit of wiggling and a loud click later, he withdraws his empty hand. He fidgets a bit, then returns to digging through the robot wreckage, occasionally pulling a large tome from a robe pocket for reference.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:14, Mon 10 Apr 2017.

Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 41 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 00:03
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa gets lost in her own thoughts for a moment while everyone regroups after the battle.  So when Taelin addresses her it takes a moment for his words to register.  "Hmm?  Oh yes, of course.  Sorry."  She walks closer Dexil with the torch and holds it over so he can get a better view.

When she listens to Jaeda she rolls those thoughts over in her head for a while.  Finally she shakes her head and frowns.  "I think there is a lot that the Priests are not telling us, which perplexes me because they've always been so open with me in the past."  Or at least she thinks they have.  "Perhaps we are to be guardians of what we find in here?  Like Jaeda says, we're here to impart knowledge on whatever is being held here, or freed here.  Or maybe it's just going to burrow into our heads and assume our lives.  I suppose we won't know until we explore more."  Daesa says quickly, nearly word vomiting her thought out for everyone to hear.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 35 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 15:48
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
From his crouch amidst the detritus of the chamber, Tor spoke up without taking his attention from where he search, "You read a great deal into a preposition, Jaeda." He sifted the parts and discards and rubbish with a broken plastic spine he had found, "If I were to speak of ... let me see, the house of Jaeda Swiftsteel... You would not presume that both house and person were the same."

He shrugged and stood, "Of course, other assumptions may come into play. Is it the physical house or the bloodline or the extended family... Context, which we lack, is the key here"
The Strange
 GM, 116 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 05:37
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2440

With the heat of battle now fading, and multiple members of the team having taken a bit of a rest, a few of you begin sifting through the rubble and gazers. In the distance, there is the sound -- a long, loud scraping sound that tears at the hearing just on the edge of tolerance.

OOC:
Nothing to see beyond this point. :) Just some private stuff. Let me know if anyone else wants to do any additional examination, set anything aside with a beacon, or head to the southern entrance, let me know.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:16, Mon 08 May 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 36 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 06:56
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Pocketing a handful of shins and a small silver disk, Tor studied a silvery sphere with a series of protuberances at one end for a moment before pocketing that and a yellowish item
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 33 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 18:51
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil nodded his thanks to Daesa when he noticed her standing nearby. It did not change the outcome, but her gesture had meaning. It was polite to acknowledge it. Running his hand once more over the broken orb and retrieving a small golden cube, he stood up and looked from Jaeda to Lofwyr to Tor and finally back to Jaeda, trying to make sense of the conversation.

"I'm... not aware of it." he started to answer the Glaive's question carefully "Which does not alter the event or does it change who I am." he considered for a moment "What I can surely do, is to get some more information on the subject."
Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 34 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 22:48
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Recognising their point, Jaeda does a little half-bow at her party, backing up to lean against a wall as everyone carries on about their business.

At hearing the strange noise, however, she pushes away from her spot, slowly walking towards the sound.
"Anyone hear that?"
The Strange
 GM, 117 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Wed 19 Apr 2017
at 03:20
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
OOC:
Private replies. Nothing to see here. Still looking for responses from Lofwyr and Taelan. If you folks are ready to move to the next room, please indicate such.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:51, Wed 19 Apr 2017.

Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 34 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Wed 19 Apr 2017
at 17:57
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Dexil once again lifted his head towards the sky, or in this case the cieling, and emmited the high pitched sounds. After a moment he frowned, eyes of the mask shifting and narrowing. Suddenly they shot wide opne in surprise as he started to prattle off numbers and words in a deep voice.
"Verifying access, ident login by Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.0.1.2.7.8.1Y. Accompanied by multiple father units. Idents: Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.0.0.7.3.0.1E, Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.0.0.2.1.1.4D, Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.1.7.3.0.0.3R. Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.2.3.1.1.6.7O, and Unit:Designate:Father:Bloodline.7.0.4.6.2.2A. Carrier Signal patchover initiated."

A shudder passed through the jack's body before his voice changed and he carried over the messege "Fathers. You're here. I scan 14 additional Father units in your vicinity, 3 deceased. Your team is the only one to have brought one of the gifts of the children. Please proceed post-haste. Do not seek out the keys, you will not need them to visit the Mother. Please make haste. Answers will be provided."

Collapsing to his knees and hands, Dexil heaved for a moment and then dared to look up, his eyes seeking Jaeda, but not daring to lock with her gaze. "That I was aware of. And it was not what I expected." glancing at everyone surrounded, he settled into a seating position and apologized "I need a moment to process this."
Lofwyr Hawkesong
 Clever Nano, 16 posts
 Nano
 Ports and Plugs
Wed 19 Apr 2017
at 19:25
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Lofwyr looks up from sifting through the room's debris to shake his head at Jaeda's question, only to be brought short by the burst of information from Dexil. He's quiet a moment before the questions burst forth.

"Wow, that was neat! What was that? Also, we're apparently all 'father units' with bloodlines? I wonder which of those was me. I guess we don't need keys 'cause of your sword, T. Lucky!"

Then, remembering Jaeda's prompt, he turns to her and asks, "Was it a good noise or bad noise?"
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 42 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 04:04
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa looks to Jaeda when she mentions hearing something, and she shine the light in the direction she's looking.  It's Dex's words however that cause her to look back toward the group and when he falls to his knees she ruses over, lightly placing her hand on his shoulder.  The words coming out of his mouth makes her shiver, and the slightly green look on her face says that she doesn't like what he's saying in the least bit.  Still she remains there until Dex feels like moving again.  "Fourteen fathers?  So much for feeling special and singled out.    Though if there are three dead, than perhaps the others were not as clever as we are."  She puts on a brave smiled but there are worry lines near her eyes as she looks to the face of each of her traveling companions.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 37 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 04:44
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"I'm 4D and Taelan is 7O", muttered Tor as he studied the man on his hands, responding automatically to his companions rhetorical question. He let his gaze shift to the remnant of the chamber and then snap back to Jaeda, "What did you hear?"
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 47 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 06:34
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan huff softly as he picks up the Gazer that Dexil had put down just a moment before and inspects it for a moment before casually tossing it back down onto the ground. He hears where the conversation is going and keeps himself from getting involved, not wanting to get as worked up as he had been before. Whenever directly spoken to or about he shrugs softly, only half paying attention as he inspects the area waiting for everyone to finish, eager to continue moving. That stops however after Jaeda mentions hearing a strange noise. He raises an eyebrow and is about to ask what she heard when suddenly Dexil gives out his strange outburst. As he keeps going Taelan rests his hand on the hilt of he sword warily, not sure how to feel about what is being said.

As Dexil finished Taelan grips the hilt of his sword a little harder before looking around them, making sure no unwelcome guests may have heard the man's cries and come looking. As he did he would glance towards Lofwyr. "Yes, we are lucky. Lucky that I'm carrying around a key that apparently fourteen other people may want to get their hands on." Before he can continue that thought however he hears Tor identify which ones signify the two of them and his eyes narrow. "How could you possibly know that?"
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 38 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 08:50
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"From the same ... conversation ... with a Child that identified your sword, once-student. " answered the ex-teacher with a patient smile
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 35 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 18:37
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"As said," Dexil started carefully "there was a patchover into my request. Apparently, we're of such importance, or interest, that the Overmind wishes to communicate with us." he slowly rose to his feet "It follows all the fathers, but presumably others lack a channel for it to reach them."

"0.1.2.7.8.1Y." he repeated to himself as if trying to feel a connection to the designation. "0.1.2.7.8.1Y." Shrugging his shoulders, he concluded "Some answers would definitely be welcome." and joined others in watching Jaeda for more info, as he himself hasn't heard anything either, clearly being otherwise engaged.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 43 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 02:45
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa takes a moment to recall all of those numbers.  She even mumbles them to herself over and over committing them to memory for later.  After all, she spends her days dealing in numbers, what are a few random sequences to her.  When Dexil chooses his number and Tor gives the ones labeled for himself and Taelan, that just leaves three numbers and three people.  Still when Dexil attempts to contact whatever was talking through him verbally, she lightly touches the gem on her forehead and gets an idea.

She opens up her mind, trying to make a temporary mental link between herself and that voice that spoke with Dexil.  Granted it's a long shot, but she figures it is worth a shot.

OOC:
09:38, Wed 26 Apr: Daesa Lightspire rolled 19 using 1d20.  Attempt mental communication with Datasphere, using Dexil's closing connection. L7 task, Using 2 Intellect to drop to L6.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:05, Tue 02 May 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 118 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 2 May 2017
at 04:20
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time: 2505

As Dexil explains what occurred, Daeasa attempts to bridge a connection. For Dexil, the intrusion is palpable, almost painful, as she reaches through his mind, to try to force back open a door with the datasphere that was almost closed. In this instance, you are a conduit, and the data flows through without filter or context. It is violent.

For Daisa, the experience is threefold. It is truly pain, as if her mind were the foot jamming open a closing bulkhead. The feedback is sudden, and intense, enough to drop her to the ground, clutching her head. Noise spills forth from her mouth, a calvalcade of data, multiple voices trying to speak at once through a throat only able to handle one at a time... creating a mass of sound out of which only some words can be understood, if at all:

"...sense Les pointed despite shows the unable this which got out countless evidence sins to is allows sent what excursions of of the connect not an back kind into powers father to the organism to of the beyond will mainframe. path, to detect prison radical depths, our be exacted child you a magnetic after for it would understanding, on the cannot field attacking changes he appear appear sons of is lost. hear me to Carly when believes are that the to be handshake here. Continue, perceive he attempted necessary the second resemble a thousand cannot be explore. she direction, to collect industry phase ancient generations, for completed. still needs to altitude J.J. to  shift occultic I have seeking be free..."

The end result leaves her nearly breathless, voice shredded, tears streaming down her face.

OOC:
While the attempt is successful, Dexil does feel a bit dazed by the intrusion. Daesa takes 4 intellect pool damage and 1 Strength pool damage from the sheer force of effectively sticking her mind in the Datasphere without a buffer or protection.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 39 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Thu 4 May 2017
at 10:52
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Mercy", whispered Tor to himself as Daesa collapsed to her knees. At his side the runes on one fist glowed faintly for a moment, fading as he forced his fingers to uncurl. His mind whirled, trying to recall everything she had said and make some sense of it

OOC:
Attempting to use his knowledge of History and his power of Deciphering to unravel some of the message. Will post some thoughts to Discord

Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 35 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Sat 6 May 2017
at 20:36
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
About to respond to all the party members asking about the sound only she apparently is aware of, Jaeda freezes entirely when Dexil is once again taken over, his speech dulled to a monotony of words and numbers that made absolutely no sense. Everything else is forgotten as the fear sets in. Not even a blink after that display, when the Jack speaks to her directly (something that has her flinch and visibly recoil), Daesa's attempt to commune with whatever demon lured them all here has her floored. The usually confident glaive finds herself on the verge of a panic attack, her breaths laboured, her eyes wide to the point of possibly popping from their sockets, her feet scrambling to put more distance between her and the madness; pointlessly so, with her back firmly against a wall already.

Her mind is fully engaged in the situation, attempting to gather as much information as she can bear to manage, yet the fear is ruining her ability to process anything outside of "leave, now!"

It's doubtful that she's going to be of any use unless she calms down.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:48, Tue 09 May 2017.

Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 36 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Sun 7 May 2017
at 20:08
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Feeling the strange sensation, Dexil had time only to glance around and notice Daeasa's expression of intense focus. He frowned, unsure of what the connection could be, and tried to utter a warning, but it was too late. The only sound that was heard was the flood of information, seeming strange when it wasn't coming from his own mouth. As the connection broke, the Jack found himself on his knees again, not any fonder of the situation than the last time.

Rising up, he stumbled towards the reckless Nano, searching for any sign of trauma, physical or otherwise. "Why would you do that?" he demanded, louder than intended, his voice mix of confusion, and anger "What did you do?" How could she violate him so?
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 44 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Mon 8 May 2017
at 03:09
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa has always been too curious for her own good.  While some tiny voice in her head, perhaps the one her mentor always used on her told her that this would be a bad idea.  Granted, she had no idea how bad of an idea this was.

She has experienced pain before, and she had thought that she knew how bad it could get.  The pain she receives from her antics is more than she ever thought she could feel.  She tries to scream, but some other noise is coming out.  Her voice, but not her words, and so many words at once that even if she had time to sit and pick them apart, she can't think through the pain to understand them.

When it ends she falls forward, bracing herself with her hands and breathing raggedly.  She doesn't even recall falling to her knees or when she started to cry.  With the memory of the pain still gripping her mind she chokes out a laugh.  The reckless Nano continues to laugh, the pitch growing higher and more manic as she stands.  Her body is shaking but there is a broad and unhinged grin on her face.

"I had questions, it had answers, you were my door.  I am sorry that it caused you pain Dexil, but I could not pass this chance up.  I didn't know where it would lead, but it was all I could hope for."  She begins, her words growing faster and faster with each statement.  "Maester Raathis told me never to do that, never dip into the datasphere with out a filter.  He said it would kill me and yet here I stand.  Yet I lived."  She says as her eyes grow wide and excitement pours off of her.  A trickle of blood slowly drips out of her nose, but she doesn't seem to notice.

The laughter continues and between it some cohearant words leave her mouth.  "So much knowledge, so much I could learn if I could just stay there.  What did I say?  Did we get any answers?  I tried to ask questions but all I felt was pain.  It was... amazing.  I can't believe I went this long with out trying it!"  When Dexil comes closer she holds out her hand and scrunches up her face.  "Stay back... I think I need to sneeze."

She turns her head away, just in case she sneezes, since that would be rude.  However no sneeze comes, instead a burst of energy leaves her body, pushing several of the robots they just maimed several yards away from her.  Confusion covers her face, but soon she realizes something.  "It was worth it."  She replies.  "All that pain made me stronger.  The more I do it, the more powerful I become."  She says, breathless looking around at the rest of the group before she finally touches the blood that's been rolling down her lip.

"I need a nap."
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 48 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Mon 8 May 2017
at 04:11
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Looking to Jaeda's fearful Taelan begins too loosen the straps holding his sword to his hip, flipping it in his hands ready to activate it at a moments notice, not sure what the loud sound had been. Taking a few steps her way he was cut off midstride by Dasea's sudden outburst, the sword springing to life and unfolding on its own as if reacting to Taelan's sudden tension. Or maybe it was the involuntary tightening of his fist at the same moment Tor muttered that word to himself. Whichever it was Taelan's expression grew momentarily fearful before switching to anger, not knowing exactly what Daesa had just done but getting a feeling it was unwise. First she had intruded on his mind and now she was nosing around in another's by the sound of it. He was by no means an expert on the subject of Numenera but he knew well enough that tampering with stuff you didn't understand in that world was incredibly dangerous.

He took a step back at the ripple of force that had just flowed outward from Daesa and shuddered, glancing around the room as something occurred to him. Jaeda had heard something, something that had clearly shaken her. And now with that loud sequence of noises, both from Daesa's outburst and her "sneeze", Taelan grew worried. It seemed that Taelan's good humor was short lived as his brow furrowed and he practically ran to Jaeda, grasping at her shoulder with his free hand and trying to turn her to face him. "Jaeda? Jaeda! I need you to focus. Look at me." Once he had confirmation he had Jaeda attention he would continue. "I need you to calm down. We can't stay here." Turning back to the rest of the group he thought for a second, finally piecing together that the loud sound had been connected to Dexil's outburst which tied directly into what Daesa had done to herself. His eyes narrowing he scanned the group then looked to the exit leading to the next room. "Listen, we can argue over whatever all that was later. We've been overly loud since we came in this room and I'm not a big fan of drawing something attention while our pants are down. Can we get moving?"

This message was last edited by the player at 20:29, Sun 14 May 2017.

Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 36 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Sun 14 May 2017
at 20:16
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
The series of events unfolding right before Jaeda's eyes were surely not real, yet even she knew her own mind could not create such horrors. As Daesa lets loose a wave of energy, it pulses through the glaive herself, and now she fears she herself is possessed, enslaved to the madness overtaking Daesa after her risky act. Her words, paired with the blood flowing from her nose, makes her appear to be deranged to Jaeda, and in the panic that is already overflowing every sense she has, Jaeda unsheathes her blades, heedless of Taelan's proximity to her person.


OOC:
Rolled 1d2, 1 for Taelan breaking through Jaeda's panic, 2 for the opposite. Rolled 2.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:37, Tue 23 May 2017.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 40 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Mon 15 May 2017
at 12:29
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
At the sound of blades being drawn, Tor's gaze flicked to Jaeda and took in the scene: his ex-student, shaking her; the woman herself, blades draw; the stranger-than-average nano, with blood trailing from her nose and the light of possession about her; and the violated young jack standing close by.

Too much distrust, too much unspoken.

And around them all the metal corpses set out to protect - or imprison - this Mother they came to find. Forcing his attention back to the chamber, his eyes darted left and right to ensure no-one else had come upon them, and his right hand twitched over the handle of his whip
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 37 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Mon 15 May 2017
at 18:28
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
"Pain?" Dexil echoed, confused for a moment. Why would pain matter? It was passing. But the connection was his and she defiled it. "The knowledge is not anyone's to take. Least of all yours." he stated almost protectively. "Next time you might not be as lucky. Do not try it again." The jack vowed not to put anyone else in a situation to abuse the link he had, for the Datasphere's and his own sake.

Taken aback by the sudden burst of energy, Dexil stumbled a step before seizing up the nano "You do need rest. And no more recklessness." Only after weapons being drawn and tensions rising did he notice Jaeda's distress. Looking to T, he blinked and pulled out a small whistle, hoping it would do what his companion couldn't. Bringing it to his lips and moving towards the glave slowly, he produced a few short notes, each sending a colorful mote dancing towards Jaeda.
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 49 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Mon 15 May 2017
at 21:45
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Swords still in hand Taelan stepped back as he saw Jaeda reaching for her swords, wanting to quickly get out of range of her weapons. Daring a glance behind him at the others in the group he hesitated, not wanting to get in a real fight with the woman. While everyone here was tied to his past one way or another Jaeda was the one he had spent the most time with and he didn't want to hurt her. Taking another step pack he brought his sword up defensively. "Jaeda! Jaeda, get a hold of yourself." He growled and flexed his empty hand, muttering under his breath. "I shouldn't have said yes to this... You all will be the death of me." He heard the notes coming from Dexil's whistle and tilted his head slightly, not sure what the strange man was up to.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 45 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Mon 15 May 2017
at 23:43
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa is still high on elation after that experience, as her giggles still fill the room.  But hearing the shots between her other companions, her brows furrow and her laughter stops.  Though Dexil grabbing her and propping her up causes her to frown and when he scolds her she opens her mouth to speak, to explain all of it, but stops herself.  She comes to a sudden realization and looking between everyone here all mirth stops.

Her mannerisms change completely, it's a stark contrast to her mood only moments before.  Her posture straightens and her face goes smooth and neutral.  Reaching into a pocket she pulls out a handkercheif and dabs her nose.  "My apologies Dexil, it will not happen again.  I am ready to move on, once grab the light."  Her tone is flat and even as she turns to fetch the torch.

Looking at the standoff between Jaeda and Taelan blinks several times but holds back a frown.  She could fix the situation, but after her outburst, she feels as if her powers are very unwelcome in this group.
The Strange
 GM, 119 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 16 May 2017
at 02:54
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Time; 2518

The tension is palpable, as the aftermath of Daesa's actions become more clear. Nowhere is this more evident than with Jaeda, as she clearly fights with her inner demons. Generations of prejudice poured into her from the Black City screams at her now. As the blades come out, two little hands pop up over her shoulder, green fur becoming clear and evident.

Then Dexil steps forward, pulling out a little whistle. He doesn't have to manipulate it -- just blowing through one end allows a sweet, impressive melody to pass through. It's almost sad, telling a story without speech of loss, of hurt, but also hope. Each note that passes through is accompanied by ethereal motes of... something. It's not mist, it's not even matter. It has no form, but the images are still there floating in the air and dancing with each other, and each mote speaks a different language to each viewer.

Along with this, the Trinnet begins to sing, directly in Jaeda's ear. It, too, has no words, but a subtle harmony escapes its lips, first one, then two, then three separate notes pouring out of its oversized mouth, even as three of its hands pet and paw at the side of Jaeda's head.

THIS has a palpable, immediately noticeable effect. The desire to be calm, to just rest, is undeniable.

OOC:
I need everyone to who wants to fight the urge to sit, close their eyes, and calm down to roll against an L5 Intellect effect (Empathic Transfer). Otherwise, the desire to just... chill... will be forefront on their mind. You are NOT required to resist unless you want to.

Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 41 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 19 May 2017
at 20:16
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Letting his hand slip away from the hilt of his whip, Tor unconsciously begins to hum
Dexil Guilan
 Inquisitive Jack, 38 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Sun 21 May 2017
at 18:39
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Surprised at the effect of his oddity and the creature joining in, Dexil cocked his head slightly to one side, swaying lightly on his feet as the lull of the song got to him. "So..." he started and paused, uncertain of what he wanted to say. With a shrug he looked around, focusing on Taelan. T always knew what to do.
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 46 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Mon 22 May 2017
at 03:25
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa was very close to the whistle, and being emphatic she is very weak to attacks of this nature.  Hearing that music calms her mind, and with out realizing it she is sitting on the floor and letting he eyes close as that calmness washes over her.   It may not get rid of all of her negative feelings, but she is now quiet and calm.
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 50 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Mon 22 May 2017
at 06:14
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan by nature is a very cautious man due to his past and as such is usually very careful about not letting his guard down. Recent events had only served to exacerbate those feelings leaving this man in a state of constant readiness, not wanting to let anything catch him while his defenses are down. That is why when he heard the soft whistling and the gentle, three voiced singing he initially fought against the wave of calming energy that washed over him. He couldn't let his guard down, not here. Not surrounded by his past in this dark, horrible place with clues to a mystery he didn't know until recently he was already a part of literally hovering above his head.

He stumbled a bit and his sword shrunk in size once more before his knees gave out from under him slowly, lowering him down into a seated position, his eyes going unfocused for a second. He blinked several times, making one last attempt to resist the calming music before he slowly drifted down onto his back, staring blankly up into the inky blackness above them. His hand relaxed and Griever fell from his grasp onto floor beside him as he just... breathed. He felt calm, calmer than he had felt in a long time. He had been carrying a lot of worry since he first got the invitation to go to Labaryth and while those fears did not go away he found himself momentarily unable to care about them. He just breathed for a moment, finding his somehow enjoyed the fact that he could actually relax for once, for the first time in what felt like forever.
Jaeda Swiftsteel
 Charming Glaive, 37 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Tue 23 May 2017
at 18:50
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Jaeda, prepared for the fight of her life (although she is unsure of who or what the real threat is) starts slightly as her Puffball's palms make contact with her face. At first, it serves as a reminder that she has to protect this little creature from the darkness that dwells in this monument, which adds to the maelstrom of fear within her. As its soft voice reaches her ears, however, she finds her breaths slow down to match the tempo of its song, her pounding heart following suit, and Jaeda finds herself in a calmer state than before.

Thinking clearly again, she is startled to find both her rapiers drawn and at the ready in her hands. Then the last few moments, with the events witnessed, flash through her mind.
"Demons of air and darkness," the glaive whispers, considering her blades before sheathing Shadow, the bright ribbon of light Sun emits adding to the comfort her Trinnet provides her now.

Jaeda reaches behind her with her free arm, bringing the Trinnet to her front, and cradles it to her chest, leaving a soft kiss on its fur and an even softer, "thank you," in its wake.

Now finally centred once more, Jaeda's gaze sweeps the room, taking in the relaxed postures of her companions, and while calm is a good look on them all, and the best apology for her behaviour would be to allow them this moment of peace, they could not remain here much longer. She first approaches Taelan, clasping his shoulder tight, murmuring urgently for him to get up and be ready to move. Then she moves to Dexil, more warily than she did her fugitive friend, also reaching out for his arm that holds the whistle.
"Thank you, Dexil. Let's get ready to keep pushing ahead, yes?" she states quietly to him.
Jaeda then proceeds to approach the others, attempting to break the effect of the song as it fades around them. She saves Daesa for last.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 05:17, Thu 01 June 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 120 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 23 May 2017
at 19:08
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
The Trinnet, indeed ceases singing as soon as Jaeda's own panic subsides, the subtle falloff of the empathic impact slow and gradual... none of it is intrusive, or at least doesn't carry that feel, and the impact of the calming affects linger. A slow, deep purring emits from the tiny creature as it burrows in with Jaeda's offered affections.
Tor the Younger
 Sharp-Eyed Seeker, 42 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sun 28 May 2017
at 11:09
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
With a nod to the rest, Tor took point once more, though he continued to hum softly to himself
Daesa Lightspire
 Empathic Nano, 47 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 30 May 2017
at 19:09
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Daesa sits calmly and quietly as the wave of calm washes over her.  While this allows several moments of clear and cohearant thought, that does not negate the thoughts she had earlier.  She remains in that state until Jaeda shakes her awake, and her brows knit together for a brief moment of confusion.

She says nothing as her face returns to that flat and emotionless mask she had on earlier.  She reaches into her satchel to pull out a handkerchief to dab the last if the blood off of her lip.  With the light source back in her hand she falls in behind Tor ready to move on, despite the gnawing headache growing behind her eyes.
Taelan Faswell
 Fugitive Jack, 51 posts
 Cranky
 Carries a big hat
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 05:11
[IC] Episode 004: Time Enough for Exploration
Taelan jumps slightly at Jaeda's touch and his mind snaps back to reality as if awoken from a dream state. He looks at her confused for a moment before nodding, staring off into the distance a bit as he slowly got back up to his feet. He took off his hat and dusted it off and glanced around a bit, taking in the room for a bit, momentarily distracted. He was catching small details that he hadn't noticed before with the light cast by Dasea's light source. Either his momentarily calmed mental state allowed him to take in these previously unnoticed bits of his surroundings or his eyes were adjusting to the inky blackness that surrounded them. What exactly it was though he couldn't be sure.

With a soft sigh he nodded once more as everyone started moving. "I think moving on would be for the best." Bending down he grabbed Griever off the ground and with an almost casual twirl he reset it back to his belt. He pulled the small chain of tracers he had been given and popped one off, setting it on the ground near him and then moving to catch up with the rest. His body language had shifted slightly from what it had been just moments before. His eyes still darted around him, keeping a watchful eye as they moved, but the anxiety and tension he carried has eased a bit, the forced relaxation having done the man some good. Though with how this little adventure had been going time could only tell how long that would last.