>Iron King Ischyros, the Far Seeker, sets down the fourth and final Report of the Agatecastle Investigation, and sips the coffee Sister Root had set before him. They are the only ones to occupy the conference room on this Cycle. 222 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.
>Mabin, High Director of the Lux Deorum, is uncharacteristically absent.
>"Sister," Ischyros says, keen to take his mind off anything other than his confidant's absence. "Make a note about this Concord program. It desperately needs some security updates. I mean, have you read this Report? Seems just about everyone's exploiting it one way or another."
>"Yes, sire," the Sister says. She casts another glance at the conference room's sealed and enchanted door. "…Th-this Report was late in coming, I note. Do you think Mabin's absence may be–"
>Before she can finish that sentence, the door flies open. With quick and long strides, a lanky white Diamond Dog, his clothing ruffled and stained by dried blood, enters the room. Sister Root gasps, fishing for the medical supplies she always carries in her saddlebag.
>"You must forgive my tardiness, your Majesty," High Director Mabin says as he takes a seat, taking care to not let the dried blood flake off as he fishes his cigarettes from his coat pocket. "I had an unexpected rendezvous with a certain Noble and spent the past hours in a most gripping discussion."
>Iron King Ischyros scoffs. "Surely we have known each other long enough that you do not need to hide your personal affairs behind euphemisms!" he says. "Truly, it seems the missus was–"
>"No, no," Mabin interrupts. "I speak plainly, but allow me to be even clearer. The Noble who accosted me was none other than Lady Offbeaten Path, of House Titanite."
"Yes another reason to kick his ass."
Deadweight continues holding Lost. There's nothing else she feels prompted to do at the moment.
"Hardly," Cautaa says. "He was cagey from the first. He tried to pass it off before, under the pretense of being Lux Deorum, but has decided to lose the mask entirely now that everything is coming to a head."
"His search for computer data was genuine, however," Huitlapan adds. "The Necromancer attested to the trail of purged tech left in his wake, and Ruby and Sapphire both suffered his attempts at their data."
"That aside, I've got a bad feeling 'bout what's on F-4," Xu says. "If we're gonna dip, this is the last call…"
Sonard nods. "We'll be regrouping with the others now, too."
He points to the stone disc that fell out of Zonshii's body. "We'll be taking that, if you're planning to run. But if you do, do us a solid and don't drag our names into it. Mission command could be sympathetic, but they'd still put you through the wringer if they find out you're abandoning ship. Can't help you there."
"I doubt they'd blame us given we're in no shape to fight." she responded snappily "Better to have a soldier who can fight another day over one who's dead."
Deadweight takes a few deep breaths, then releases Lost from her embrace. She nods to the group. She's ready to go.
"I'm ready to keep going."
I am ready, but continue looking at the fading skeleton and ask, almost whispering "Where are your compatriots, sir Zonshii?"
>>762709Probably… fighting your other allies, like I did…
"I tried to warn the others," Cautaa mutters. "W-with any luck, they may show some restraint."Thanks… stay safe… else the Necromancer might be your only hope of continuing on…
Sonard nods at your determination. "The three of us will take turns rowing for you lot then. Take all the time you can to recover. Let's move out."
Huitlapan and Xu move in to help Deadweight stand, as you make your way to the boat.
Several trips later, you're back at the massive wooden bridge, where the angel-possessed Zonshii started to shoot at you.
"Do we have any medical supplies?
Deadweight swallows her pride and accepts the help from Huitlapan and Xu. >>762711
"I should have some kits in my saddle bag," Deadweight says.
I'll leave the skeleton propped up somewhere and join Sonard at the boat. I did little to physically fight so I'll help rowing.
I'll then DM huitlapan that I too require healing, but not as urgent to have it now.
"Down to my last one," Xu says.
"I used the last of mine," Cautaa says.
"I've got two left," Huitlapan says.
"KB Mountain's probably got one or two to spare," Sonard says. "But with Reprise on his mind I doubt he'll part with them easily. Could always try to search for a few on the way down.">>762712>>762711>>762713
As you continue on, Huitlapan cleans and dresses Firmgold's wounds as well.
After some time of following the bridge, you eventually reach dry land once more – Sector Seven. The stone infrastructure nearby suggests that you've reached the peripheries of a great plaza. A gate to the north leads to Sector Six, per the map.
A message shows up on Concord, from KB Mountain.
>"All teams report in, stat."
"What was our team name?"
I recommend we top up then if we're gonna make this suicide charge into the depths. Me and Deadweight need it."
"I.. don't think we made one, to be quite honest with you. Perhaps we can respond that we're still en route?"
"'Still en route'. That's deep. I like it."
"We're a little roughed up, but we're still alive," Deadweight manages to message back.
One by one, each team reports in that they've successfully recovered the sigil stones that each behemoth – the former Knights of the Gravepyre – had held. The damage report follows. It sounds like each team has suffered bad injuries, and all are running desperately low on medical supplies.
>"Understood," KB Mountain says.>"And what of the other behemoths, sir?" Cautaa asks.>"Damaged beyond repair," Mountain reports. "The machinery that grafted itself onto their bodies proved too dangerous to remove during combat. However– our priests should be able to purify their souls after the danger is past.">"I see… thank you, sir," Cautaa says.>"All teams, rendezvous at Sector One," Mountain says. "That's where the closest stairwell is. We'll assess who can and cannot descend to F-4 there. Let's not keep our foes waiting."
Mountain closes the call.
Off we march to sector one.
When the call is closed I speak underbreath, and then lead the way.
Deadweight reacts to the message with a (griffin) thumbs up emote and makes her way to Sector One.
"Shouldn't we… heal up before we rush into this fight?"
"We'll heal up once we find the others," Deadweight says.
Sector One, as surmised earlier, is indeed a great courtyard, marked by a long fountain in its center, which is flanked by benches, tables, and surrounded by a number of now-deprecated buildings. These appear to have been shops, gymnasiums, parlors and other pillars of communal life. Now all gone, and empty.
Overlooking it all is a great metal slab, which has grafted onto the stairwell terminal like melted slag. Your visors hum over with static when you behold it… like the metal that covered Zonshii. This slab is made of the same kind of metal. Best not to stand too close.
On the surface of the slab are five circular indentations, roughly the same size as the circular seal that you recovered from Zonshii's chest cavity.
Standing at a distance from the slab are KB Mountain's forces. Each of them look badly roughed up. Some are barely standing, but pressing through, countenances frozen in grim determination.
Mountain nods in acknowledgement as you approach. "Well-fought," he grunts.
Xu, Cautaa and Huitlapan remain silent, and visibly nervous.
When Lost speaks up, Mountain shakes his head.
"We don't have time to dally," he says. However, he looks over her and Deadweight for a moment, then reaches into a storage cache, and hands them another small medical kit. "Our allies below have been cut off from support for too long. Do what you need to, but be quick."
He holds out his hoof for the seal you recovered from Zonshii.
Lost quickly took one of the kits and used it on herself.
I will give Mountain the seal.
Deadweight also takes a kit and uses it on herself.
I'll hang around.
Mountain takes the sigil stone, and approaches the metal slab, as does a representative from each of the other cavalry teams.
When each stone has been slid into place, there is a moment of stillness– then a great cracking. Fissures shudder through the surface of the slab, as if it were not metal, but another peculiar kind of stone. Then, the material contradicts its nature again, and bends, and dents, as if being slammed by an invisible sledgehammer. The others back away, even as they study the alien material's inexplicable properties.
When at last the slab is near-totally covered with damage, it falls still again, until it crumbles, blown away like so much dust in a breeze. Compared to the earlier erratic breaking, its final departure is downright tranquil. Finally, when enough dust is clear to reveal the door controls, some of the cavalry approach, and inspect the door systems. They get it to work, and the doors slide open.
The Necromancer's Lair awaits below.
I preemptively call up some homing fire magic.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
With the passage open I take a step forward and pause, drawing out my march forward before turning back to my group and moving to them instead. I will speak in a low tone
"I understand this will not look well with Agatecastle's agency but not all of us are ready with only Sir Huitlapan's healing. If we're unsure about what lies ahead then we should use my courier and our pooled funds to bring medical supplies… I will deal with the outcome after the Necromancer is defeated."
Lost nodded and handed over all 400 schillings she had on her to Firm to buy them all the meds it could.
Cautaa nods. "At this point, the expedition's leadership has graver concerns to contend with than a little smuggling."
Huitlapan grimaces, tapping his foot impatiently. "How fast can this courier of yours get here?"
Xu clicks her tongue. "I, uh… don't have any cash to lend.">"She spent it all on this mobile game," Sapphire types.
"True…" Xu admits, too bummed about being a broke ass to even banter over it.
Deadweight also gives Firmgold all her schillings.>>762833
Deadweight nods. She understands.
"I don't think I have any money."
"Well, perhaps quicker if I divert my 70 shillings to quicker delivery. In all truth I've never asked for faster delivery as a timely arrival was more than affordable.">>762832>>762834
"Thank you dearly"
Deadweight nods, more resolutely than when she nodded at Xu.
"Perhaps we could change the purchase of several of these medkits for some sage brew? I believe consuming them may give us access to spells that Sir Huitlapan may impart."
"Yes but at the same time we could fudge the spell and make it worse."
"Noted, sticking with medkits only."
I will make the purchase and spend however much of my own 70 shillings to make it next-second delivery if possible, teleports are expensive when you can't use 'em
The smuggler takes a bit to respond to Firmgold's request – normally the customer service department is quite prompt with responding. Maybe even they've been mobilized… or maybe they're just making sure you didn't put in the wrong amount. But, eventually:
Some minutes later, after KB Mountain's forces have descended the staircase, a drone zooms overhead, and a box falls from the sky, held aloft by a parachute, descending toward your location.
When it lands, you and your allies tear into it – and it's a whole cache, packed near to bursting, with medkits.
I will break one open and apply it to Deadweight.
"That's a lot of medkits," Deadweight comments.>>762842
"Thank you, Firmgold.">>762841
"Aright, anything else before we head down?"
Lost grabbed several, taking the time to heal herself up to full health.
"You are welcome, Miss Deadweight. I should have sent for another set of armor for yourself but circumstance may not allow us such luxury."
"Still appreciate the thought," Deadweight says.
I communicate a desire to buy three bottles of Noble's Wine, one bottle of Peasant's Aid, one set of High-Grade Explosives, and six set of Firecrackers. I'll hand over the 430 shillings needed.
I nod my affirmation and put this down for another delivery
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Another drone zooms overhead, dropping another box of supplies.
Huitlapan, visibly agitated by the wait, casts pointed glances at the stairwell. His leg has not ceased tapping since it began.