The Arc is Defiled - RPLOG
Sally has gathered soulless at the city gates, "If you aren't prepared for two day's hiking, go shopping now, because there will be no stores between here and there and back again," she advises.
Peril arrived promptly at the arranged time, shuffling through the city gates with a rather sizeable pack over her shoulder, Still having a lot of the camping gear from her last little venture into treasure hunting all she had needed was a few days rations to be ready to go again. With a soft sigh she shifts uncomfortable from foot to food, adjusting the weight on the straps that held the pack against her back while looking about the others that had gathered.
Darquan is more than ready for the trip. He's actually gone out and purchased a week's worth of supplies for those 'just in case' moments. Food, drink, medicines... For the present time, the gator is not using his combat soul, which is obvious since he is not in any form of armor. Just that kilt of his.
Sally appears ready for a long haul, with a heavy duty backpack slung on, burdened with, one assumes, supplies and sundry. She also has some travel sandals on her usually bare feet, designed to protect padded feet from sharp rocks and other things that could get quite painful without a nice extra inch of leather.
Rogna laughs and shakes his head. "I have all I will need." he says and gestures to a small ration at his side. "One must learn to survive in times of trial without being able to stuff their face." he says, knowing that he could probably find something edible on the way if it was that much of a problem. His hand on his sword hilt, he looks eager to proceed.
Kilsa arrives on time, Her pack is neat and square on her back. She is dress in nothing but a light bit of armor and her hammer is slung over her shoulder as she notices Peril and Darquan. "Hello." She is curt and her eyes seem to be a little bleary but her eyes seem a bit red.
Peril gives Kilsa a warm smile and the big gator a wink followed by a chuckle before beginning to make her way toward him, hoping to be able to pawn of a little bit of her heavier gear on the massive creature and spare her own shoulders the weight
With everyone prepared, Sally gives the brief, "As you may or may not be aware, The Arc landed not that far from here. Sweetwater is as great as it is, in small part, because this is one of the first places we tamed on the planet." she explains, starting to lead the way out of the city, "Most of the Creator artifacts were taken from it, maybe all of it, but I want a look for myself."
Darquan might very well act as the group's pack mule if the Hippo is not going to offer to do such a thing. Then again, to ask such would not likely go well. He returns the curt greeting with a smile and a greeting of his own. The Heavy-clan Gator shoulders the packs that Peril wants to relinquish, which shouldn't be much given her petit frame to begin with. That done he follows behind Sally while remarking, "So we are going to explore the craft that brought our ancestors here?"
Kilsa nods to Peril. She rolls her neck popping her bones before giving her hammer a few test swings. "Anything in particular your hoping to find?" She says curiously. "I wouldn't mind looking at things made by the Creators, as a low level memeber of the church I've never got a chance to look at anything related to them up close."
Sally cants her head, "My interest lies in the sacred families. I'm hoping to fine formulas related to them, and how they can... do what they do. But anything we find that can be used against the shadow will make the trip worth it," she assures. The trip is peaceful enough up to the foothills, where things start getting far more steep, ascending up into the dragonback mountains. Curiously, the path is not unknown, with small markers and shrines along the way.
Rogna works to keep in the middle of the group, his weight and size working against him as the mountain climbs upward. He's certainly glad he packed light. A thought occurs to him. "Do you think, the creators knew of the shadow?"
Peril happily trots alongside the gator, sticking close to the massive reptile. The small feline kept pace with the group easy enough though soon began to tire as she hurried to stay close, reluctant to fall behind on her own while trekking through the countryside. She grumbled bitterly at the steep assent though mostly kept her complaints to herself until the hippo spoke of the shadow "Who knows. Maybe the shadow did them in. They were both powerful after all."
Kilsa looks at Rogna as she walks at a brisk pace having no trouble with the traveling. "Probably, I just hope the shadows aren't the reasons that we don't see them." She ponders the thought for a moment, "I would love if we found something that could wipe them all out in a single use but thats hoping for way to much. If the shadows did the in then that would makes things a little more grim."
Darquan has no trouble trudging through the countryside, even with the additional weight...though very minor...of Peril's belongings. His stride is long, measured, and very easy. One could say it almost resembles how a wolf would lope on a long trek. His tail sways with each step as well, mesmerizing in its own right. At least he has made a modified kilt so his rump isn't showing as blatantly as before... He slows a bit when they reach the slope upward, looking back frequently to check up on the progress of the others.
Sally guides up along the trails, "I'm told some priests still make the trek up here, coming from far away nations for a peek at one of the larger pieces of Creator artifacts we have, though it's still not much... Don't know what the Creators know, but I do know their grasp of the divine numbers blows our little playing out of the water."
Kilsa chuckles, "I'm not familiar with the path myself, I might be a priestess but that is as far as my training goes." She smiles and look around, "Though I would mind accompanying a more experienced priest along this road. Its very relaxing and beautiful, I might have to look more into it." She makes a mental note of this path.
Peril shrugged her shoulders and sighed, arms folding across her chest as she looked to sally "This thing has been about for centuries. Anything that is left cant be valuable or either priests or looters would have made off with it long ago. Any inscriptions or writings will have been studied by priests and any evidence of the crafter's will will have been a subject for debate by every great priest there has ever been. It seems like little more than a publicity stunt to come out here."
Rogna feels his priests soul gem and shakes his head. Ironic that even though he tries to ignore portions of the knowledge bestowed by it he is doing something a priest would do anyways. He grasps his sword in confidence and pushes onward. "Why has the path not been developed upon? For a two day trek one would expect a small shelter to be placed if it is visited semi-regularly by priests. That seems rather inefficient."
Sally raises a finger, "Not so. Before, we did not have lunar dust, which seems to react very well when placed in the sacred patterns," She draws out a pouch of precious lunar dust, shaking lightly, "So we may be the first to activate something everyone else just copied into notebooks and took home." She glances towards Rogna, a shrug is offered, "Maybe closer to the top?" she suggests as they ascend the mountain.
Darquan remarks simply, "Perhaps it is part of the reason for the journey? There must be some danger involved or there would have been a city here long ago. Animals? Enhanced defenses? Traps?"
Kilsa frowns, "Last thing we need is a creator defense coming to life. Though it would add some spice to this jounery and a nice story to tell the orphans back home." She smiles, "Though I would like to see if I could tangle with something made by our creators and survive."
Peril chuckled and short a glance toward Kilsa as a broad grin spread over the felines muzzle "Are we all not descendants of the crafter's work? We have all faced the result of their handywork at some point I am sure"
Rogna smiles at Peril. "Bravery is the first step to victory." he says as he treks up ward. He adjusts his cape, slinging it back into place behind him and attempts to speed his pace up.
Lo, around the next corner, Ictus is standing there, waiting for the group. Sally offers him a crisp salute, "All clear so far, Corporal, you're accompanying us the rest of the way. I don't think we'll need a back guard," she invites, waving for him to join the assembled party as they trudge up. The air gets cooler, and a bit thinner. It's quiet, besides those speaking.
Darquan gazes upward almost simultaneously with the Hippo, though he does not say anything further as the group continues. Even though the air is growing cooler, the gator seems to be warmed up enough to not have to worry about it. Then again, his long strides become notably shorter than before as the time passes. He's taking deeper breaths, too.
Ictus grins and nods to Sally as he salutes back then falls in, "Alright, sounds good Captain." he looks to the others curiously
Peril skips to catch up with the gator, brushing lightly past his leg before darting on ahead with her tail up and hips swaying as she bounces along the path happily moving on ahead and giving Ictus a nod as she carried on past "I look forward to seeing the sight, I don't hold out much hope of finding any great treasure there though"
Kilsa raises an eyebrow at Ictus, "Its a pleasure." Kilsa notices Darquan getting a little sick look. "Hey.. Take this." She opens her pack and pull out a thick furred cape. "I've been around enough reptiles to know you aren't for the cold. Just try not to get too many holes in it, I don't want to have to skin another sixty skriths to make one in my size." She hands it over to him as they contine on the path.
Rogna is slightly tired from the constant travel but still seems rearing to go. As it turns out his heavy armor, while not very good in the heat or water, is perfect for these cold situations. "Hello there." he says to Ictus with a smile as they look the group over. "So how much further would ou say we've traveled?" he addresses to Sally, having lost track a while ago.
Sally points to the next crest, "That should be it," she assures, "We're practically there."
A strange scent builds as they approach though, like burning old cloth.
Darquan manages a smile when Kilsa approaches and offers him the furred cape, "Thanks. Maybe next time..we come up here I will anticipate the chill and have something like this made for my size." He slips an arm around the badger in a brief one-armed hug. His body is definitely matching the temperature here, though he isn't willing to stop and drop. His senses are still quite keen, though, and he sniffs audibly before long, "What's that smell?"
Ictus hmms? at the scent and blinks, "Something burning?" he looks at Darquan and shrugs, "We should find out..."
Kilsa look around while still holding the Gator in a one armed hug. "It smiles like something is on fire." She step from the gator and removes her hammer holding it up and slowly over her should prepared for anything to come thier way. "Hopefully it a camp."
At the smell of smoke Rogna draws his sword, looking around carefully. There are many creatures that have adapted to utilize fire here, this could be dangerous.
As the group approaches the lip, the arc comes into view, but it becomes clear why stories from it have been sparse of late. Shadows, and a few beings. The beings are huddled together, eyes emptied out into darkness, crying tears of black as they shake back and forth in slow rocks. The shadows prowl more hungrily. As the party comes into view, one large brute roars in fury and approaches.
Peril yelps and skips back, hurrying back behind the party and taking cover where she can watch and fight and throw her lot in if it goes well while preserving her option to run away if things seem to be falling appart
Darquan blinks a bit as the group turns the corner and...comes upon a scene of interest. Well, one would probably use another word, but for him it is all that he can do to not fall back quickly. He's carrying his load and Peril's, and is also not prepared for combat. He groans softly, yet still proceeds to study the charging foe...
The great beast's attack is as terrible as the stories say, raining down furious blows on the group. The struggle shakes the mountain top as the soulless rise against it, bouncing back from near fatal blows with a seemingly bottomless reserve of will and determination. As the beast is sent crashing to the ground, leaking shadow and darkness, the others disperse quickly, leaving the mountain top still a moment, except for the muffled sobs of one of the claimed, still rocking in place, staring with empty black eyes.
Peril quickly pulls her pendant out from beneath her shirt, taking the break in battle as an opperatunity to replace her scholarly skills with... other scholarly skills and the power to burn things.
Darquan did not really fare so well in the battle, but he somehow managed to hold his own despite it. His attacks were nothing but claw strikes due to finding that things were much too chaotic to even consider swapping his gem with the one that would prove to be more beneficial. After the battle is done, he slumps to his knees and finally proceeds to switch souls. His armor and weapon fade into existance during this time. Interestingly enough, the cape is not affected.
Kilsa huffs as she walks closer to the sobbing creature, "Um...." She raises her hammer tiredly and attempts to communicate with the claimed. "This was fun, Everyone still alive?" She calls out while staring at the claimed creature. "What do we do for this folk?" She never took her eyes off the creature.
Ictus growls as he gets the first strike and the last, he grins as the lesser shadows flee and blinks at the claimed with a shake of his head, "Poor soul..."
Rogna approaches the creature with Kilsa, slightly worn but unwilling to faulter. "Come now, get up." he says to the cowering form, hoping that something may jar it to sanity, however unlkely it is.
Sally shakes herself vigorously, despite her many thin cuts and bruises, huffing, "Excellent work, soldiers. Secure the perimiter," she orders, moving to march forward, "We need the area secured yesterday. Other shadows could be lurking around, waiting for us to drop our guard, and, by the creators, they will not have my tail today." she fumes, waving her staff lightly, lantern waving wildly.
Peril growls under her breath, ears back and eyes narrowed as she fidgets with her knifes hilt, eyeing the distant shadow claimed nervously as she spoke "We should turn back and warn the city about this development. These things can't be allowed stay here"
Darquan does not get up to follow the order immediately. To do so would require that he stop focusing on re-absorbing the knowledge he already has from the gem. It will take a few moments to do so, and the armor and axe will have completely formed at that point. Only then does he slowly rise and begin a patrol. The kilt has disappeared in favor of the armor, too.
Ictus nods to Sally as he searches the area carefully, he grunts as he eyes the claimed cautiously from time to time
Kilsa frown and stay rooted to the spot eyeing the claimed, "I've never dealt with a claimed before." She begins to scan the area for anything else that might be ready to attack while still keeping the claimed within her sight.
The plates of alien metal that had covered the clearing have been scattered and clawed, defiled by shadow presence. Sally scuffs across one, looking more furious by the moment, "Blasted things, Creators take them! Look what they've done!"
Rogna leaves the cowering form to the badger and considers the instructions. They are correct, this is no time to be worrying about the well being of this individual when all of their lives may be at risk. He scours the area with his sword drawn, leaving nothing unturned before he returns back to the center of the group and looks to the plates. "We cannot restore them?"
Darquan does not return to the group, nor does he approach Sally following her exclamation. Instead the gator continues to patrol, his strides having returned to the long ones from the start of the trek. Seems the battle has warmed him up a bit...or it might be the insulation of the armor. No helmet, though.
Kilsa grunst and decides to take actions in her own hands. "Alright if I get attacked be ready." She pills a short lenght of rope from her armor and walks behind the claimed and attempts to tie its hands behind its back. "Sorry..."
Ictus hmms as he eyes the area and sighs at the destruction, "Indeed, wonder what they were doing here anyway..."
Peril sticks close to the badger, looking about the area though glancing toward the shadow claimed regularly to check that it was doing nothing suspicious. With dagger held securely in hand the small feline stood ready to defend herself though with little intention of going any further now that the shadow clearly lay ahead "We really should alert the city. The shadow are so close the people need to know"
Sally shakes her head, "I know of no smith that can forge Creator's steel. It is a miraculous substance, their final gift to us."
The claimed are listless and crushed. Without active shadow presence to guide them, they are just standing, crying, puppets.
"Ah ha," says Sally with a thought, "They've moved some of the larger plates. Maybe there is some good to come of this. We should be able to get at things others could not. These plates are normally far too large for anything but half a town full of people to move."
Darquan stops his patrol to finally call out, "So you think we should go into the craft, or did you have something else in mind?"
Rogna shakes his head and inspects the damage. "Well presumably every one of these is documented in full, and it is simply a matter of preserving the records. Come, let us inspect the exposure this has caused." he says and gestures to the craft.
Ictus nods and hmms at the opening, "I suppose we should make sure it's clear on the inside as well."
Kilsa follows Rogna, "Well lets go. I want to see what is inside. I think the heavy's should take point like myself, anyone with spells should be ready to back us up." She smiles and gives Peril a wink. "I think the big guys and gals can take a hit better and make a good early warning."
For all her talk of tactics, the opportunity to lay her eyes on Creator artifacts others have not already snatched up is quite too much temptation, and the white fox vanishes right down into the hole, sliding down the smooth Creator metal, into the dark. Fortunately, not dark for long, as she lights her lantern. It only went down about fifteen feet or so at a mild incline, "You have to see this!" she calls out, "I pray to the Creators some of you brought good drawing tools."
Peril folds her arms across her belly, looking to the distant remains of a ship and thinking on the possability of finding something never before seen but quickly dismissing the odds of such a discovery as remote. "If you really insist on going in I supose I should porovide whatever assistance I can, but I do believe it is important we let others know of the shadows presence here as soon as we can"
Rogna inspects the hole and then with a mighty landing joins Sally inside the vessel, sword in hand as he inspects the surroundings. "And what is so interesting as to abandon your safety?" he asks.
Ictus blinks as Sally dissappears down the hole and chuckles with a shake of his head, he looks at the others and shrugs as he carefully slides down the shaft
Kilsa curses under hear breath and jumps down into the down after the rest. "So everyone decided on unsafe suicide?" She asks before looking around.
Darquan follows the rest of the group down into the belly of the ship while calling out, "Peril, we will do that when we return. If, of course, whatever has brought them isn't taken care of first." He is one of the Heavies, so he takes point as soon as he is able to do so. Instead of gawking at things, at least at first, he moves further from the group to keep watch ahead.
The walls are a dense maze of divine math, words, ideas, concepts, some lost and abandoned centuries ago, before the people of Promise arrived. Some are scratched and gouged, but so much of it is tantalizingly pristine, "We must preserve this, and return to the city as quickly as possible, to warn them, of course, but also to preserve all of this, before the shadow come to finish their defilement," insists Sally, already producing paper from her backpack and starting to take an imprint of the closest wall, hands shaking in a mixture of awe and excitement.
Kilsa is in awe but quickly begins looking around, "Nothing this good ever happens without something bad trying to much it up." She begins to look around keeping close to the smaller members of the group incase something decided to pick them off.
Darquan turns his attention to the others briefly, "How does this affect your interest in learning about the Sacred Families? Or will these extensive equations be that key you were seeking?"
Rogna nods in agreement. "This will be quite the blessing to both the church and to the well learned. It is a shame that we cannot send but one or two to the city with news, and camp out here on rations for the assurance that it will remain untouched, but I fear that lessening our numbers against the shadow would spell trouble."
Ictus blinks at the divine math and shakes his head in disbelief, "By the creators... This is an amazing discovery..." he hmms and nods to Rogna in agreement
Kilsa thinks for a moment. "I say we send a runner, someone swift and quiet to bring the message back." She eyes Peril, "That way just one shouldn't make the difference in a fight. We can't let anything happen to this place."
Sally frowns sharply as she works, "We must assume that the shadow have only been discouraged, not dispelled. They -will- return, and we will die if we stay here to fight the brave fight. These are not the shadow tainted wildlife we run into once in a while. This is the real thing. They will crush us if they counter attack. Copy what you can, grab what looks loose. Move fast, because we have to go, and none of this will likely be here when we retake the territory." An angry growl, an almost choked noise with a deep angered sadness. "They will return before we can marshal the army we would need."
Peril looks at the left tales on the wall and can't help but wonder how no one ever found it before. the comment about sending a runner and the look toward her making the cat point to her very short legs "you know I'm not going anywhere fast, and certainly not without getting all my gear back which will slow me down further. A scholar is better employed copying these messages"
Darquan crosses his arms and turns fully to their employer, "So is that an order? To abandon sentry duty to assist with the information collection? I have Peril's gear on me, Kilsa. She wouldn't make it very far to begin with, even if we did have time."
Rogna says "Part with your organics, that we may carve and copy what can be taken." He then nudges darquan and kilsa. "We shall guard them then make haste."
Kilsa sighs, "Oh well your probably right." She dumps out a set of armor and a spare weapon on the floor. "Besides my food nothing else is of value in the bad fill with what you can and leave add more writings to the stack." She heft up her hammer and heads to the entrance to keep a look out for more shadows. "I'm going to see that nothing rips our rears in half. I'll be back after a quick look."
Sally makes a dismissive wave, "If it isn't critical, leave it behind. We can buy another when we get to the city. We have five minutes." She digs out a small hourglass(clearly a five minute glass), and slaps it down, letting the sand start to fall, "Then we leave at a forced march until we're back in the city walls." And she's back to copying furiously. The imprints are going speedily at least, making black carbon copies of the wall markings in great sweeps of black charcoal against the paper, burning through her pad in a hurry to get as much as she can, "Anyone good with doors? See if you can't get further in. There may be some actual technology laying about if it's been sitting here hidden under tons of Creator Steel all this time."
Darquan chuckles, "I have some crystals on hand that I could use to acquire some knowledge of how to bypass some of these doors, with some possibly assistance." He does not assist with the carbon copying, but instead takes the time to remove a couple of crystals from his amulet and add a couple others. After a minute or so he looks up again, "Ready." He then trudges about to look for some doors.
Peril tugs on the gators kilt, gesturing toward his pack and asking "Could you kindly pass me down some of my gear. I had a lot of writing supplies in there"
The door is quite strange, but with Kilsa and Ictus looking it over, it becomes clear that the buttons with the numbers on it are vital. Beep, beep.. beeerrrzzt, says the thing. Whatever divine math that powered it failing. Ictus is not one to give up though, and with a bit of careful prying, and a short circuiting of wires, the door suddenly flies open to show half a hallway, the far end crushed, but a quarter of an open door is visible that someone could possible squeeze through.
Darquan does not wear the kilt in his combat form, as was stated outside. The chain shirt is on his torso while the rest of him has padded armor. He doesn't say a thing while he passes the belongings over.
Ictus hmms? as he pops the door open and blinks at the hallway, he looks in and then to Peril, "Feel up to exploring?"
Peril quirks a brow and trots over to ictus, looking down the hallway toward the colapsed section "I supose it will speed things along". moving down the passage, slowly and carefully, looking to the walls to be sure nothing is waiting to surprise her she approaches the collapsed section
Kilsa looks at the door and smiles, "I'm not getting through that." She watches Peril sink down in the passage and takes another look around. "Creators protect her." She gives a little blessing with a bit of enchantment added.
Rogna nods to Kilsa. "Try as I might I don't think I will fit." says the heavy and tall hippopotamus.
Darquan soon joins the others at the newly-opened door and speaks as loud as he dares to the retreating form of Peril, "Looks like I can't guard you this time around. Good luck."
Ictus looks at the door and nods, "I don't think I'd fit either... Not with my armor anyway."
Peril draws a deep breath and exhales a sigh as she looks around the damaged segment to the door beyond, weighing up her options before the need to find out what lost treasures waited beyond the drove the cat to press her body up against the wall, edging forward into the narrow space "oh all the time for being small to come in handy"
Rogna chimes in "They have been gone a long time." as he inspects the opening. "It's almost time to go, is everything alright in there?"
A brief spark, a muffled curse to the creators, and a Peril comes squirming out with an artifact clutched in mildly singed fingers, just about in time for the sand to finish falling.
Darquan is quick to approach the small feline when she begins to emerge. His first action is to take the object from her so she has her hands free, stuffing it carefully into a pack.
Peril clings to the artefact clutching it closer to her chest as she looks about hurriedly, regaining her barrings "right. I don't know what this is, but I think it is time we left"
Kilsa smiles at peril, "Wow. Good job!" She claps heartly, "You are something else Peril." She nods and grabs her gear. "Lets get ready to get out of here and Peril could tell us on the way." She smiles widely. "I'm glad your not hurt."
Ictus hmms? as Peril comes back and chuckles, "Welcome back, what did you find?" he nods to Kilsa and hmms, "I suppose so."
Rogna shakes his head. "You should free your hands, we may have to fight our way out of here." he says to Peril. With that he moves to the opening and proceeds to inspect outside, sword at ready.
Sally folds shut her writing journal and stuffs it away, "It's a damnable shame we can't stay, but the plan is the plan, we're moving out. If you can't run with it, don't bring it," she orders, marching for the exit, "We're heading home."
Darquan doesn't try to force the issue of taking the object from Peril, and instead follows her out of that hall again. On the way back out he takes point, looking around constantly to try and not stumble into an ambush.
Ictus nods to Sally and follows her out, he stays alert as he looks for signs of trouble
Kilsa looks around, "I'm ready to head back hopefully getting back faster means less ofr this will be damaged when we get back." She follows the group out. "I'm not looking to give the shadows more time than we already have for them to get back. Atleast we got a few nice things for our trouble. I'm hoping this is an anti shadow weapon."
Peril pulls her backpack off her shouler, the almost empty pack offering ample room to stow the artifact quickly thanks to the gator having most of the cats supplied. stowing the object the little cat hurridadly slings it all back over her shoulder and moves up alongside Sally
Sally pauses on the way to the lip of the top, "We taking the Claimed with us or not?" she asks, hiking a brow and looking towards the tied up folk.
Darquan pauses to look back, "You said we needed haste. I vote to leave them to their fate, as harsh as that could be, unless they are quick to get up and run with us."
Kilsa looks at the Claimed and nods, "I'Ill take her." She grabs the Claimed from eariler and flops the bound creature over her shoulder. "Lets go. I'm going to atleast take this one. I can't save them all but this one is my responsiblity." She begins toward the path not meeting anyones eyes.
Rogna keeps pace with the group and watches over their back frequently. "How much of the information have we salvaged? What was in that room?" he says as they walk.
Ictus smiles at Kilsa and nods before marching on, "Alright." he looks at Peril curiously at the mention of what was found
And so the group departs, leaving the other Claimed behind. What was the math? What purpose had the Creator Artifact? What could be done about the shadows at the peak? No easy answers awaited. Time, study, and mobilization. For now, mostly the latter, as they group haggardly staggers into the city after many hours of forced hiking. It is only when Sally moves to deliver official reports that others are allowed to relax. The artifact, she suggests before she goes, should be brought to the church immediately for study of its divine nature.