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Private/Closed Terrater - The Explorer's Guild

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by Dwayna DragonFire, May 29, 2018.

  1. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    This is an RP for @Keleri @Rex @JadaStark2015 @Mr.RMA @Dark Soul and @Psycho Monkey . Please do not reply unless you are one of these people. Thank you.

    ---

    One way or another, everyone came to Terrater. Those who came millenia ago made the next generation, and the next. Back then, a dragon that called herself Obsidian Dragonfire made herself known as the chosen leader of the people, as well a new species of Dragon that weilded the powers of the elements. Some were surprised to learn of this fact, others were more accepting. They followed the guidance of their monarch, under which the first city was build around that which had brought them all to their safe haven, The Portal Building.

    The metal skyscraper that touched the sky stood as a testament to the accomplishments of the Androids. A species of artificial intelligence said to be made by The Great Father, the Androids were generally peaceful and helpful, willing to assist those in need. Together with the people, Madone was built with other cultures in mind, making it quite anachronistic and diverse. From there, people spread into other places and eventually formed The Thousand Nations, trusted individuals championing their support for the Dragonfire throne.

    So tradition was made and stayed even through the First Era. Obsidian died to cruel unknown forces, but left behind five children thanks to her female mate, as Spirit Dragons could reproduce regardless of gender. Each of their children had an attunement to one of the Five Elements of the Spirit Dragons - Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Spirit. The son of Spirit, Orn, decided to take up the reigns whilst his siblings decided to rule other nations in on the planet. Under his guidance, he lead people through the portals into an age of crusades, to save other worlds - whether or not destruction was imminent.

    But because there had been so much hurt from these assaults, his most trusted Knight decided that enough was enough. The female elf known as Merenwen Falassion suggested that the portals be used to explore first before further bloodshed should be on their hands. King Orn, not entirely unreasonable, agreed to her suggestion and allowed her to take the reigns. From then on, The Explorer's Guild was an official organization, and interventions were limited to only emergency cases where worlds were on the brink of falling apart. It was from one of these worlds that he rescued his human mate, and from their bond they made a half-dragon daughter.

    Dwayna was unfortunate to eventually witness the death of her parents through familial betrayal, as her uncle went on a rampage to kill almost all other remnants of the Dragonfire line. So the Second Era ended and the Third began, only years later to experience a war unlike anything Terrater had ever seen. The Shadow War still weighed heavily on everyone's conscience, even fifty years later. Many were lost, but the surviving Queen Dwayna and her new husband had ushered in an era of peace on Terrater.

    The military no longer interfered with Explorer's Guild business unless it was absolutely necessary. As such, they themselves became the Enforcement Guild, working to uphold the laws within Terrater rather than assaulting outside worlds. Still, exploring tended to be dangerous, so people with decent fighting skills often chose the Explorer's Guild if they wanted a chance to see the universe.

    ---

    The Explorer's Guild was booming in the capital metropolis of Madone, with only one real government oversight after everything: that none should try to alter the portals within. Only one Android stood guard over them, the winged one that hovered overhead known as The Gatekeeper. That morning, there would be another initiation for new recruits for the Guild. Why they were explorers was up to them to decide, and perhaps they would gain something more for the experience.

    A woman with brown hair tied into a tight bun methodically approached each individual with a clipboard and pen in hand. Often, one would see her as the receptionist, but she worked for the guild in whatever capacity she was asked to. She produced the clipboard to each person in turn, with a welcoming smile.

    "Hello, my name is Ellen," she said, adjusting her rectangular glasses. "If you could please put your full name and a brief summary of your skills onto this sheet, we will be forming groups momentarily. If you cannot interact with this sheet in a physical manner, then please inform me and I will instead fill the sheet out for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask."
     
    #1 Dwayna DragonFire, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  2. Rex

    Rex Resident Furry

    "Absolutely not, I'm not doing it."

    An anthropomorphic steppe polecat was pacing back and forth in front of ostentatious entrance of what was probably the overwrought centerpiece of this entire festering empire. He was armed, which was a small comfort in this world. Magic was everywhere, most anyone here could probably rip him to shreds before he could even draw one of his guns. He paused in his moment, and looked towards the building - the 'Explorer's Guild they called it - and scowled.

    "'Oversight?' When did it become our job to police multidimensional empires?" the polecat complained.

    For a second, he could picture him. Standing in the library, a book in his hand, an ever growing pile on the desk behind him. Bronze skin and salt-and-pepper hair, smiling that same soft smile. Loving, but condescending. The polecat crossed his arms.

    "Yes, I did say I wanted to get out of the house," he grumbled, "That doesn't mean I wanted you to volunteer me to scout out new worlds to get taken over." The polecat threw his arms up, then got back to pacing. There was no stopping it. He would be passing over that threshold, and sooner rather than later. "Yes, I do remember what they used to call their little 'interventions.'"

    The polecat stopped again, cupping his face in his hands and adopting a falsetto voice, "Oh, we don't do that anymore, now we just intervene when it's clear they can't take care of themselves, the poor dears!" He put his hands on his hips and shook his head, "It is just like what's been going on in Africa. And just like Europe, this place just can't keep its nose out of business where it isn't wanted."

    He paused again, and blinked, "Uh, oops!" The polecat looked around wildly, waiting to see if anyone had been watching him. He'd been thinking out loud again, and at quite a volume too. He scratched at one of his ears, before absconding into the building. Were it not for his fur, he'd be visibly blushing. Not exactly the greatest way to start an infiltration mission. Thankfully, when he was approached by someone inside, it was to hand him a clipboard for him to fill out, not to kick him out.

    It asked for his name. If there was anything that the polecat had learned, it was that names had power. He filled in the one he felt comfortable with them knowing, and stared at it: 'Ark English.' That name evoked a lot of memories, both happy and sad. The gun on his hip suddenly felt a lot heavier. He shook it off, moving on to the next item on the list. It wanted to know what he could do. He listed his marksmanship and survivalist skills, basic stuff for a scout. That done, he handed it back.

    So that meant it was time to wait. The steppe polecat Beastkin, Ark English, took the time to survey the room. He'd likely be working with some of these people.
     
    Dwayna DragonFire and Dark Soul like this.
  3. “Well, it’s very... You.

    Ilmar Vivious, Terrater’s second-ever Dragonilk citizen, gave Osram an amused look. The anthropologist was sitting crosslegged on a pillow on the floor of the apartment they shared, scribbling notes with one of those newfangled Terrater devices called a ‘pen’. “You would find the most daunting profession this planet had to offer.”

    “Exactly!” Osram brought his tea down so hard in emphasis it nearly spilled onto the papers. “But, hey, it would be good thing if I got accepted, right? It’d mean they trust us more.” He continued. “I run some missions for them, they learn to rely on me, that opens doors for us."

    There’d been a string of complications after the two Dragonilk had fled their way into Terrater. First, they’d popped out of a portal that hadn’t seen any activity in eons; second, they weren’t the species ‘sanctioned’ to use that portal. All in all, they set off quite a few alarms. They’d spent a while in custody before finally being pardoned. It seems this place went easy on refugees.

    And what a place it was. Even the towering structures of the civilization they’d discovered mere days before had paled in the face of this planet of planets.

    Two months after their arrival, the pair had made their assigned lodging into something more akin to home, with decorations painted on canvases. Ilmar had spent most of his days within these walls. Whenever he went outside, he was simply overwhelmed- the seemingly unending varieties of races, cultures, traditions and architecture to study daunted him.

    So, instead, he focused on the way home. The portal from Xucri had been shut until further notice to prevent their teammates’ killers from following. Ilmar had been petitioning the local authorities to take a strike force through, to clear a path back to society. So far without luck. The Dragonilk were an unknown. They’d have to prove they were worth the alliance with Terrater.

    So Osram, after much exploring the city, its nightlife and its military institutions, had found the Explorer’s Guild; the crew of pioneers who went voluntarily to new and dangerous worlds. It sounded exciting and highly dangerous- exactly what Osram looked for in a job.

    “Yeah, so, wish me luck. Tryouts start in...” He looked at the wall clock, took a few seconds to translate Terrater’s timescales. “Oh, shit, I should get going.” He stumbled onto his feet, ran to the kitchen to grab his travel pack and a cold beer from the fridge, before heading to the front door.

    “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Ilmar called out from by the table, eyes still glued to his journal. Osram smiled. “Of course!” Osram ran back, knelt down by Ilmar, cupped his jaw in one hand and kissed his i’xalot- “lover due to circumstance”- squarely on the lips. Ilmar smiled back. “I was talking about your train pass, but I’m not complaining.” He said.

    “Oh, yeah.”

    ~

    Out in public, like inside the train, he still received interested looks from others. Not because he looked any more odd than them, but because he was a rarity. Most every other race had a larger presence than just two individuals. Osram often smirked back, but was otherwise too busy taking in the sights out the window. He didn’t know if he’d ever settle on Xucri again. He’d lived for years in a lawless dustbowl. This city? A paradise, in comparison. The sights nearly made him miss his stop; he had to run to make it out the doors in time, as they narrowly avoided closing on the blade of his axe. He was mere minutes away from the portal building now. For whatever reason, he hadn’t been back since their arrival. The new world had proven too exciting.

    Between crowds of travelers, tourists and citizens of all shapes, sizes and colours, he made his way to where the signs told him the Explorer’s Guild was based. He didn’t have to wait long before an official-looking woman with a brown bun approached him and several others with a... wooden paper-holding board? And a pen.

    Name: Osram Sinskethaern
    Skills: Melee combat with axe, melee combat with magic axe, firearm combat, double firearm combat, tracking, trapping, ranging, Self-Motivation, Adaptability, Leadership, Ability To Work Under Pressure, Creativity.

    He finished the form with a flourish and handed it to Elle with a satisfied smirk. They couldn’t turn away a guy like him.
     
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  4. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Standing near the underside of an old stone bridge, a woman and her son were exchanging their farewells. This sort of parting was one that would seem more commonplace at an airport, or perhaps at home beside a packed car with a U-Haul hooked to the back of it. Instead they were off at a long-overlooked corner of a poorly maintained city park, a far more unconventional location... but then, neither of them had any say in where a magical portal to a fantasy realm was going to be situated.

    "You're absolutely sure you want to do this? You don't owe anything to this... Terrater place. You've got to do this for yourself, you understand?" the mother, a highly successful electrical engineer by the name of Linda Raibert, was saying to her child. The boy, recent high school graduate Rodney (with a "solid" 2.5 GPA), rarely ever looked so confident as he did that singular moment, standing there with a glowing teal cube in his grasp, otherwise with little more than the clothes on his back. He'd taken some time to think this through, but it really wasn't a difficult life-decision to reach.

    "Of course I understand Mom, I'm doing this 'cause I want to. I mean, what have I got going for myself otherwise anyway? Like... definitely nothing at this level." Even if they weren't talking about something as major as interdimensional travel, Rodney's point would've likely still had some foundation to it. He'd already turned down the idea of going to college the year prior, and he hadn't considered any other reasonable future plans since then... though considering that was around the same time as the robot was first activated, he at least had an excuse as to why he'd been distracted all that time.

    "I know... and you say these are nice people too, so I want to take your word for it, because I trust you, hon... Still... it's tough letting you go. I want you to do great things, I know you've got it in you, but... I just wish I could've been around for you more before you left..." Linda's eyes were watering as she spoke. She barely lost her composure in professional circumstances, no matter how dire, but this wasn't a work issue. She was far more open in the presence of her family... particularly what little family she still had left.

    "Mom, don't do this to yourself... You had a damn good reason for being away at work so much, you and I both know that..." Rodney responded consolingly as he quickly went to wrap his mother in a hug with his free arm, perhaps a little emotional himself as recollections of the past few years flashed through his memory.

    "No matter what, you'll always have a home to come back to here, and I'll do what I can to keep any prying eyes from potentially stumbling on the portal too. Just... be careful out there Rodney... please... I don't want anyone coming through that portal to tell me I've lost another family member, okay?" She held her son tightly at that, and Rodney didn't say another word for a moment, just maintaining the embrace for a bit longer before they eventually broke it off.

    "I promise, Mom. I'll be safe."

    ---

    In what felt like mere moments later, the young man was finding himself standing in the headquarters of the notoriously dangerous Explorer's Guild. Fat load of good that earlier promise turned out to be... but Rodney couldn't turn down the temptations of the unknown. It was what drove him here in the first place. One new world was a wonder in itself, but a bunch of them? How could he turn down such a prospect? He'd been told all his life that if there was another planet harboring intelligent life, he wouldn't likely live to see the day when such a discovery was brought forth, much less to actually be around at the moment of first contact.

    'Yeah? Well, that's where you were fucking wrong, Mr. Baker. Who's the stupid one now, huh?!' Petty thoughts, perhaps, but it still brought a smile to his face, and high school memories rarely did that. Such a smile didn't last so long once the bespectacled woman by the name of Ellen handed him a clipboard and asked him to write a summary of his skills on the sheet attached. God he hated the job application process... He could feel the cold sweats beginning to form already just staring at the paper, despite the simplicity of the instructions. Surely they were looking for any qualifying traits he had, beyond just special skills or quirks or what-have-you... but Rodney couldn't think of anything beyond the obvious... He wasn't even magical, not really. It just so happened that the inexplicable sort of mental bond with his robot was just supernatural enough for him to not undergo any sort of change. So here he was, with one single extraordinary thing that kept him from being entirely underwhelming. Oh well, might as well make sure to write that down at least...

    Name: Rodney Raibert
    Skills: Psychic robot link

    Was it really anything near psychic? Hell if he knew, but if he was going to stick to short and sweet, might as well make it sound cool. Maybe that'd be all it took to tilt the scales of interest in his favor.
     
    Dwayna DragonFire likes this.
  5. Flipping the last switch the gate roared to life. This was it, she had finally gotten the damn thing running. Staring into the gate as it flickered between different images, not really settling on a single place for more than a second, she grinned and stepped closer to it.

    “Finally” the woman breathed, slowly reaching her hand out towards the entrance.

    “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

    Shit that was the security guard. She turned around to face him and grinned, “I was investigating~”

    She spread her arms out and took a step back towards the gate. It took a moment before the guards eyes widen as it dawned on him what she was doing.

    “You can't go through it! It's not stable!”

    “But that's the fun of it” the grin on her face grew as she took another step back. She felt a soft pull from behind her, she was right next to it now.

    “You don't know what will happen or where it'll send you!” The guard pulled his stun gun from his holster and took aim at the woman.

    “I know.”

    Closing her eyes she leaned back and fell into the unknown.

    ------

    Three weeks she had been on this new planet, and those three weeks just down the drain.

    The woman groaned, about ready to pull her hair out. Why was it that no one told her that the Explorers Guild just opened for new recruits? Then again if she had actually asked about the guild to begin with things might have been a bit easier, but being as stubborn as she was that wasn't likely to have happened.

    No matter, straightening up her short red hair a bit, the young woman entered the building and glanced around trying to see who all was here already. She didn't really get a chance to see everyone but she did notice a few interesting looking people.
    She wasn't sure if all of them were recruits and in any case her train of thought was quickly interrupted by a woman handing her a clipboard and pen. Printed on the form was just a simple application. ‘Name and Skills’ That's it? That's all they wanted for this? That seemed a little underwhelming but she filled it out anyways.

    Name: Jada Kulivok

    Skills: Cooking, Energy Manipulation, Blade skills, -Shapeshifting-

    Jada hesitated on the last skill she listed, quickly scribbling it out, she didn't feel comfortable listing it just yet.
     
    Dwayna DragonFire likes this.
  6. Power Output: 45% set point
    Insolation: 89% set point
    Air Resistance: 10% set point
    Speed: 97.7 km/h
    Altitude: 2589 m
    Approaching target.
    Begin descent.
    Engaging...█


    The light dimmed briefly as something passed in front of the Explorer's Guild interior bulbs. Something vast and black dropped out of the sky, seething with tiny vibrating forms; for a moment it reared up, the cores within giving the appearance of a multiple-eyed shadow, and the haloed lights made it look like a seraph, burning with heavenly energy. All at once, it coalesced, turning inside-out to place a polite polymer skin over its nanobot interior.

    "Well hello there, dears!" the robot trilled. "Please forgive my perhaps somewhat dramatic entrance, I was so worried I was about to be late."

    The robot extruded a grasping appendage, delicately receiving a clipboard from Ellen, who was unperturbed--she'd seen weirder. In flourishing script, they wrote:

    Name: Engineers' Guild Exploratororb Unit Matrix Zero One Zero "MINT"
    Abilites: ANYTHING, DEAR!!! Shapeshifting, flight, kinetic energy transfer, lasers, and a whole suite of wonderful computing and terraforming functions~~~~

    "Please let me know if there's anything missing," Mint said. "I am so excited to begin work!!!"
     
    Dwayna DragonFire likes this.
  7. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    A befuddled looking man dressed in a white hooded robe hobbled down the street using a wooden staff as tall as he was as a walking stick to maintain his balance. His drunken stupor was just beginning to wear off giving way to a hangover which was something he really wanted to avoid. He’d much rather drink more liquor to maintain his drunken state. Regrettably that wasn’t an option today.

    Two days prior Alvin the Younger had “allegedly” caused a scene at one of the local pubs which got him arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated. It wasn’t his fault really. It was the bartender who refused to serve him, a paying customer and loyal patron. They were making bank off him, they should have let him keep going. Upon his arrest and finding out that Alvin was an unemployed white mage, he was sentenced to community service by working as a healer for the Exploration Guild. Visiting and studying new worlds could potentially be a dangerous job and having a white mage present would help keep teams alive and well if they found themselves in hostile environments.

    If being forced into community service to avoid jail time wasn’t bad enough, he got quite the rude awakening from his sister Lyla this morning. While he was passed out on the floor after last night’s pity party, she had thrown out his stash “to keep him from getting distracted and missing his first day.” He tried to fight her on it but that womb-stealer* was both taller and stronger than he was so it was a fight he knew he wouldn’t win. Needless to say, it was a rough morning for the alcoholic.

    Alvin arrived at the Guild Hall and groaned at how bright the lights were. Yup, the hangover was already starting. He would need a drink soon or else he’d be forced to heal himself of this retched condition and then he’d really be feeling the torment of not having any alcohol in his system. A sophisticated looking woman, who gave her name as Ellen, walked around handing clipboards to all of the new recruits with only two simple questions on it: Name and Skills. Easy enough.

    Name: Alvin the Younger
    Skills: White Mage. I heal things.

    “If you have any questions, feel free to ask.” Ellen asked the crowd. Alvin lazily raised his hand in the air.

    “I’ve got one. Where’s the booze?” he inquired bluntly.



    *womb-stealer: a Schlyk term used by petty or jealous younger siblings accusing their older siblings of taking all of the best traits such as better looks, higher intelligence, athletic ability, musical or artistic talent, etc.
     
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  8. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Ellen happily took each person's sheet, perhaps giving a sympathetic smile to Jada in particular. Why she did remained a mystery, as she was soon addressed by Alvin, asking her about liquor.

    "I'm afraid that this is a work environment, and therefore should remain as professional as possible," she replied, adjusting her glasses with a slightly scrutinizing look. "Well, thank you all very much for your applications. Your group leaders will be with you momentarily. Typically, these are higher ranking individuals in the Guild, and will be guiding you through an initiation mission. Good luck, and may the Great Ones look over your travels." Ellen walked away, leaving a few moments of peace for them to think for themselves. After a few moments, a man with brown hair and yellow, bird-like eyes walked up towards the six individuals; a bow slung over the shoulder of his light leather armor.

    "Hello, my name is Christopher," introduced the man, with a bow of his head. "I am a ranger of some experience. What that means is that I hunt certain beasts and I am familiar with surviving in the wilds. I'm somewhat experienced, but I would still appreciate any help that you would be willing to give me on the mission." He did seem very warm, smiling as he pulled out a sheet of paper.

    "The group that I've been assigned is... Alvin the Younger, Osram Sinskethaern and... 'Mint'," he said, raising his eyebrows and then lowering them again once he caught sight of the robot, understanding flitting through his gaze. "We will be traveling to a world called Draconia, a hot planet full of strange natural resources. We need to collect some of those under possible threat of several kinds of beasts, including dragons. Some are friendly, others are not... Best to be cautious and follow my lead. Any questions?"

    Another person approached, that time a woman. She had greenish skin and an extremely visible underbite. Her dark hair was braided carefully behind her back, and a grey horned owl rested on her shoulders. Her armor was more one of animal hide, her staff and necklace decorated with feathers. It was clear she had an attunement with the natural world to some degree, and that her heritage was orcish.

    "I am Shozara," she introduced, a very direct approach. "Jada Kulivok, Rodney Raibert and Ark English. You three shall accompany me to Astrillon, where it is currently nighttime in a vast forest of emerald trees and azure lakes. We have a simple objective: to collect herbs and fungi for study at the Scientific Monastery. There may be dangers, but we will test our survival skills as well as our resourcefulness. Understood?"
     
  9. Osram’s hand unwittingly went to the grip of his axe when something dark and glaring red fell out of the sky, relaxing only when it coalesced into something bipedal with bruise-dark skin, and greeted all the prospective explorers enthusiastically. Osram chalked it up as one of those things he’d likely never understand, which Terrater had an abundance of. (He’d once spent two hours in a shop filled with glowing rectangles of glass, as a four-armed being tried to explain what a “computer” was. He’d left none the wiser.)

    The last explorer to join the ranks was a short pointy-eared man in white robes, who looked surprisingly dejected at the prospect of joining up. It seemed his priority was booze. A man after Osram’s own heart.

    Ellen shot down the robed man’s comment before telling them all to wait on their instructors, and wishing them safe travels in a very Terrater way. They didn’t have to wait long. A man with striking yellow eyes walked over and introduced himself as Christopher, experienced ranger, with a warm smile. Osram noted he was quite good-looking. The ranger called out his name and two others, at which the robed man and the swirling thing perked up slightly. Apparently, the two were his company for this first expedition.

    The bow slung around the man’s shoulders struck him as odd; this world had guns. Why choose the bow? Maybe the man had magic at his disposal that made a primitive tool more lethal.

    “It’s filled with dragons? That’s awesome! My ancestors were dragons, y’know? We know that from the fossil records.” He bared his sharp triangular teeth in a smile. “Actually, yeah, one question. If that planet is hot, the things living there won’t be bothered by fire, right? Just a strategic thing.” He whipped out the axe from behind his back with an exclamation of “Kuh’vest!”, at which the blade froze solid, sending shards of ice falling to the ground. The spell chilled Osram’s veins, too, and he tried to keep his limbs from jittering. The ice disappeared with a quickly muttered “Einxth.”.

    There’d been no point to that, of course, as with most things Osram did. He’d just wanted to impress his commander.
     
  10. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Rodney remembered the first time he arrived on Terrater, and how much it made him question... a great many things. Even now he was still occasionally forcing himself to keep from staring at some of these more fantastical creatures milling about, but at the very least he was maintaining his composure, something he'd utterly failed to do in those first couple visits. He felt he was progressing and adjusting to such a major change quite nicely... Immediately he started doubting such confidence upon the arrival of what seemed like a swarm of god-knows-what wrapping itself into some kind of skin and introducing itself in a very... theatrical matter. It took all of Rodney's self control to avoid dropping the cube in his hands and screaming 'what the everlasting FUCK', but he nonetheless prevailed. Still, it was a jarring reminder that he had a long way to go when it came to familiarization.

    Occupying himself for a time by pulling out his smartphone and taking a few snapshots of the building and the unique crowds it contained, Rodney perked up at the mention of his name, quickly shoving the phone back in his pocket and turning to face the green-skinned woman who called herself Shozara. She seemed very direct and no-nonsense, at least inferring from her manner of speaking. Certainly seemed like an orc, especially with the underbite and all, but... well, best not to make assumptions, especially if that word maybe wasn't so polite a term... He definitely wasn't sure about that. What he was sure about was the fact that the owl perched on her shoulder was absolutely adorable. If he wasn't positive it would peck his eyes out if he got too close, he would've immediately gone to pet the bird of prey.

    The ornithological fascination was nearly enough for Rodney to miss the instructions Shozara gave regarding the three-person group he was assigned to under her command. Nonetheless he managed to get the gist of it. Fungus searching in a forest world? Seemed simple enough. She was playing it kind of vague with the mention of 'dangers' though. That was unnerving, to say the least.

    "Ah, Miss Shozara, ma'am, just what kind of dangers are we talking about for this place? Like, do we have any info on that or is it all just kinda unknown stuff?" No harm in asking while he had the chance, right?
     
  11. As Ellen came around to collect the application sheet Jada noticed the look she gave her. She was going to comment on it when a large swarm of Something fell to the floor. The entrance was enough to make her flinch visibly and curse under her breath. Who ever that was they were definitely not something Jada had encountered before. After giving the being a sideways glance, Jada took a deep breath and went back to doing her own thing.

    Before long she heard her name being called, along with two others, by an orcish woman who had introduced herself as Shozara. Apparently she was to go on a what was essentially scavenging mission with this woman. As Jada made her way over to who she was assuming to be her supervisor a young man inquired about potential dangers of the mission.

    “Ya know this one does have a point” She said motioning to Rodney, “Information gathering is normally vital to these things.” And while she had agreed with him to some extent, Jada was more partial to the idea of just diving into this job head first. In any case this was meant to test their abilities, so she wasn't holding out on getting too much information just yet.
     
  12. Rex

    Rex Resident Furry

    The first was a strange creature. An Atlantian, with a human face. No tail either. In his time on this world, Ark had never seen another creature like it. Its red scales were also eye catching, and it wore strangely colored leather armor, and carried a rather large axe. Technological disparities were rather common on this world, this character looked like they had only recently stepped out of the middle ages.

    The next was almost disappointing in its normality. A human teenager carrying a box. His clothes were also odd, but in the almost recognizable way that made Ark think of his own clothes. He was probably from a world further along technologically than Ark's own. At one point the man seemed to be ranting about something, but Ark could only understand snippets over the noise of this world. Something about baking? Was this boy in the wrong place?

    The third was another human, older than the last. Aside from the secretary, they were first woman to show up. Clothes an odd mix of old and new, the tunic and the dagger on her belt pointed to another medieval origin, but the scarf clashed with that somehow. Perhaps she'd gotten it since moving here? Still, she had the look of someone who could take care of themselves, which made her fit in a lot better than the first human.

    The fourth was something else entirely. A formless cloud of metal, almost seething as it floated through the air. Ark had to take a step back when it actually started talking. Even in the pits of the underworld he'd never expect to come across something stranger than this creature. Still, it seemed friendly, if a little dramatic. The polecat took a moment to recompose himself. This world was a strange place full of strange things. If he tried to force himself to understand them all Ark would surely only drive himself mad.

    The fifth and final newcomer was another man. He looked human but for his ears, Ark had to rack his brain for a moment to come up with a better descriptor. Elf, perhaps? He'd read about them in the old Cryptid books back home, and had seen a few in his time on Terrater. They wore a robe and carried a walking stick, and combined with the graying hair made him look a lot older than his otherwise youthful features. They were a drunkard, Ark could hear the elf clearly asking for booze. The polecat was sure there was a story behind that.

    That was in then, six including himself. He was the only Beastkin of the bunch, and felt out of place as a result. At least he wasn't the strangest in the room by far: no, the formless metallic cloud and the human faced Atlantian had him beat in that regard. The secretary took her leave then, and they were joined by two more guild members, who would be serving as their team leaders. One was not his leader and thus Ark did not pay any attention to him.

    The other, however, did call his name. Green skin, dressed in furs, with carefully woven black hair. An orc, he supposed, another creature he'd read about back home but only seen live here. Something about her tugged at him, and the polecat realized sourly that this woman was a druid of some description, complete with a familiar - an owl of some sort. In as many words as she felt necessary, or perhaps as few as she felt she could get away with, she described what her team would be doing. That was, collecting herbs and fungi for the science monks - an oxymoron if he'd ever heard one - to research.

    It seemed innocuous on the surface, but Ark wasn't that stupid. Armies marched on their stomachs, and they might be expected to live off the land. Therefore, it was important to know what plants were good to eat, and what was a deadly poison. While there, they would have to beware generic danger - it went unsaid if the danger was hungry wildlife or hostile locals. The polecat frowned at that a bit. He wasn't a fan of how vague she was playing this whole thing, but he'd play along for now.

    The human boy spoke up first - he was likely the 'Rodney' she mentioned. He was followed by the woman, meaning she was probably Jada. That meant the other team was the Human-Atlantian and the cloud, as well as the elf. Both of Ark's new teammates were complaining about the general lack of information given. While he agreed it seemed like she was withholding something, they likely weren't going to get anything else out of this orc. Besides...

    "Who do you think does that information gathering?" the polecat asked the two matter-of-factly, "It's an exploration guild, it's our job to get the information so that people with higher pay grades and inflated egos can use it." Welcome to the bottom rung of the ladder, he added mentally. The view's not so bad when you get used to it.
     
  13. Temperature: 21C
    Humidity: 24%
    Atmos. Pressure: 101.2 kPa
    Audience Perturbation: Medium


    Mint concentrated nanobots at their fore as the scaled humanoid whipped out an axe-- but a quick diagnostic concluded it was not intended as a threat, and they relaxed and then retreated as he enchanted it, appreciably dropping the air temperature in the room.

    > Subject: Osram Sinskethaern
    > Species: Dragonilk
    > Threat Level: Medium


    Mint paused to download information on the Dragonilk and their world and found it intriguingly spotty. Here was a life-form they could study right from the get-go! They were already making progress.

    "Oh ho ho hoooooo," Mint laughed. "Christopher, my dear, thank you so much for introducing us to the explorer's life. Please let me if I can be of service to you at any time. Will you tell us, if you please, about your own magical abilities?"
     
  14. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Ellen shot down Alvin’s request as straightforwardly as he had asked it leaving him feeling dejected. No choice then. He put the tips of his fingers spaced out over his forehead and concentrated. He could feel the waves of healing energy recycle through his body to clear the haze of his hangover. Alvin gave a sigh as he pondered when his next drink would be.

    Before long a tall, well built man with brown hair and golden eyes entered the room. He politely introduced himself as Christopher, a ranger, and leader of the group consisting of Alvin, Osram, and Mint. As someone who had lived on Terrater his whole life, Alvin was used to seeing multitudes of different species and races but his two teammates looked to be newer to this world. Osram was a species of humanoid dragon, much like the Dragonfire royal family, but there were differences between them. And Mint… definitely some kind of android. A new model perhaps?

    Christopher explained that they would be going to a world called Draconia where there was the potential for danger. Alvin rolled his eyes. Yup. Of course they would send the medic to the danger zone. He bet they would expect him to stay in the back because of course the front lines would be “too dangerous.” If only they knew how badly he wanted to fight beside them, to be more than just their healer.

    At the mention that Draconia was home of dragons, Osram boasted to being descended from dragons while showing off his use of ice magic by freezing the large axe he carried. Mint seemed absolutely delighted by the show even going so far as to inquire what magical abilities Christopher possessed. These teammates seemed to be quite the rowdy bunch.

    “I’ve got a question too. You say this world we’re going to is hot. Is it hot like a tropical summer day hot or is it hot like a lava world because,” Alvin raise is right leg up to show off his bare foot “my people don’t exactly wear foot protection.” He put his foot back down and considered repeating the same question he asked Ellen. Couldn’t hurt. The ranger seemed a bit more laidback. “So… do we get any booze for this trip?”
     
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  15. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    A dragonkin of some sort approached Christopher first. "If that planet is hot, the things living there won’t be bothered by fire, right?" asked the gentleman, demonstrating his magic in an attempt to impress Christopher. The man with the yellow eyes merely smiled, slightly amused by the dragonkin's antics.

    "Actually, it's only mostly hot on the surface and in some caves. There are parts of the planet that are cold, parts that have water, and a lot of underground terrain. Not to mention, with beings like the Spirit Dragons about, there are several different elements that different dragons might be resistant or vulnerable to. Nonetheless, your versatility will definitely be an asset on the mission."

    The next person to address him was... he didn't really know what else to call her but 'Mint'. She was very different from the other Androids in both design and creation. "Will you tell us, if you please, about your own magical abilities?" she asked, after thanking him for the opportunity. He appreciated her politeness, even if she was a bit creepy.

    "Certainly. I am of a species known as Faehawk, a subset of the Faewing. This is because I have a set of bird-like wings that I can materialize or dissipate at will." He briefly demonstrated, a large pair of brown, hawk-like wings sprouting from his shoulders before disappearing again. "As for my combat skills, my bow will never run out of ammo. It is enchanted to magically conjure bolts of energy in the form of arrows. I hunt from afar, so I would appreciate some people to cover me should we get into trouble."

    Finally, the elf-like bipedal addressed him. The man in a robe asked how hot the planet actually was, as well as about how to obtain alcohol. Christopher hummed softly, as if actually thinking about it. Finally, he answered.

    "It is typically hot on the surface, but we can have you riding a floating mobile device," the Faehawk replied, pulling out a small metal rod. "Just push the button there and it will extend into a small scooter. As for booze... it can depend on the particular temperament of the dragon we might encounter. If it's friendly, we may be able to have a drink and a chat. If not... best to keep our senses intact."

    ---

    Shozara observed the reactions of all of her group before answering. As common with humans, the boy was curious to learn exactly what would be happening. The woman agreed with him, her appearance human-like as well, so Shozara thought nothing of it. The final comment was from a bipedal mustelid, who commented that it was exactly their job to figure out that sort of information.

    "Whilst this gentleman is correct that as explorers we gather information, we are also willing to share it with our comrades," Shozara replied, looking to her group with an assessing gaze. The human boy seemed interested in her owl, which she noted for future reference. The girl seemed to focus on Shozara, whilst the mustelid seemed hesitant about the whole thing.

    "Therefore, I will share with you what we have learned of Astrillon thus far. The creatures there are bipedal beings that are more reminscent of elves or other fey. They are generally friendly, but they often live in sparse villages or camps. This is because the world is otherwise home to dire beasts and hostile plantlife. We will be using dragonhide gloves to collect the materials, and I will be giving us all antitoxins to help protect against poisons. The locals would be grateful for a few less beasts, and won't miss a few plants in exchange."

    After that was all explained, she passed out a potion bottle out to each of them. It had a greenish liquid within, each labeled quite plainly to be antitoxin and saying they lasted an hour long. Then she pulled out some bags, handing one out to each of her party members and keeping one for herself. They all seemed to glow with the same strange rune on the outside rim.

    "These are enchanted to have far more space in them than appears. We will be putting any useful resources we find inside of the bags. Your gloves are also within, and you merely need to wish to have them to grasp them from the bag easily." She demonstrated by reaching inside, soon pulling out a pair of black, scaled gloves that she put on. "This will help you to learn how to use them in the future."
     
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  16. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Rodney had to admit he was a bit concerned by the anthropomorphic mustelid's response. Something had to have brought on that cynicism, he just hoped it wasn't entirely justified for this particular mission. With more details being brought to light, at the very least Rodney could get a feel for what they were supposed to do and what they might have to deal with. So, there was an elf-like race residing in this forested world, along with... whatever the hell dire beasts were... and killer plants? Bit of a nightmare thought, a little forest of horrors, in a manner of speaking. He was about to ask one more question, but before he could inquire if there was any decent place in Astrillon to hide a human body, he played it over in his head. Yeah... context was going to be completely lost on everyone if he said it like that, he'd just deal with that issue when it came about.

    Taking the bottle and bag handed out to him, he briefly inspected the contents of the vial and the label attached to it. Antitoxin... He felt his stomach turn a little at the thought of being poisoned, but such was the risk, and at least they'd be prepared. He just needed to make sure not to lose this thing. As for the bag, Shozara's description of its enchantment struck a feeling of familiarity to Rodney somehow... Sounded like something in an old tabletop game he tried once. What a curious coincidence. So, he just had to will himself to grab the gloves inside and they'd show up... Might as well put that to the test, the orc lady seemed intent on them practicing this anyway. Reaching into the bag, he focused his thoughts on grabbing a pair of gloves. He quite evidently gave a startled gasp, nearly falling over himself once he immediately felt the hand garments suddenly in his grasp, pulling them out of the bag with a lingering sense of disbelief.

    "Well... goddamn. That's some crazy convenience," he said, putting on the gloves and placing the antitoxin, as well as his cube, into the bag for safekeeping. Better to keep both of his hands free for now, perhaps he wouldn't even need the robot for this first mission.
     
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  17. After hearing the mustelids response to asking for more information Jada snickered. He was going to be interesting to have around at least, as for the human he seemed a little more wary about everything.

    Shozara seemed be be willing to part with more information about the task ahead of them, even with the comment about them having to be the ones to gather information, promptly telling the group that the world was inhabited by Fey creatures and some dire beasts. She also handed them a bottle of antitoxin along with a simple looking pouch save for the rune on the lip.

    “So just will the gloves to be in my hand?” Jada muttered to herself as she reached into the sack. She closed her eyes for a moment and tried to focus on the black scale gloves that Shozara had showed them, but couldn't really seem to grasp the concept. She could feel what seemed to be the gloves at the edge of her fingers but couldn't really grab them.

    ‘Well shit.’ Jada groaned under her breath and removed her hand from the sack. It was definitely going to take a few tries to get that right.
     
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  18. Rex

    Rex Resident Furry

    In the end, the Orc was willing to divulge more information. Fair enough, Ark would admit when he was wrong. By the sound of it, they would be under threat from both local fauna and flora, while the local sentients hadn't yet tamed their planet's wilderness to the point that they could advance past hunter-gatherers and into proper agriculture. The way it was phrased, it sounded like said locals wouldn't exactly know that they were present, they were going in to shoot wildlife - for their benefit - and take some plants - that they wouldn't miss. He nearly scoffed at that.

    She handed out a potion to each of them, supposedly a general antitoxin, most likely magically made, with an alarmingly short effective period. A temporary countermeasure then, until proper medical procedures could be done. The next was a bag, stamped with a rune, that apparently had a pocket dimension enchantment on it. A useful thing to have, had Ark not already had one. Still, he did as she said and found that yes, the enchantment worked just like the one back home. He pulled the gloves out, before depositing both them, and the antitoxin, into his satchel.

    Now then, what to do with the bag itself? It was only going to be in the way in his hand, if he was going to be under threat from territorial beasts, he wanted to be able to use his shotgun. He couldn't put that into his satchel as well, it'd break physics or some such nonsense. So he folded it up as small as he could and shoved it in his pants pocket. He'd deal with that nonsense later. For now, he pulled his Winchester off his back, and reached into his satchel, withdrawing a shotgun slug. He fed it into the weapon, and pumped it. One in the chamber.

    The woman seemed to be having trouble with her bag. By the sound of it she understood the concept of it, but was having trouble with the practical applications. He felt for her, magic was hard to grasp at first. He resolved that once he was done with this, he'd help her if the Orc or the Human boy didn't get to it first. He pulled out pair of slugs, loading one and then the other into the tube magazine. The boy, meanwhile, got it first try, apparently surprising himself more than anybody. He put his box into the bag, along with his antitoxin. Ark pulled out two more slugs, and loaded both into his shotgun.

    "Don't think about it too hard," he advised the woman, "just put your hand in the bag, picture the gloves, and grasp." He pulled out the final slug he needed from his satchel and loaded them in. Five in the tube. "You're not reaching for the gloves, you're calling them to you."

    The polecat double checked to make sure the safety was still on the gun, then slung it over his shoulder again. Now he was ready to go.
     
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  19. Mint's thaumic sensors, once intended to be used for scouting out ley lines in new worlds, read the magical connections on Christopher's wings as they appeared. They also took a snapshot of the enchantments on his bow-- one place where a skilled magical practitioner still beat silicon was in identifying latent enchantments from their thaumic signature, but the more enchantments catalogued, the more likely they'd be able to do the same.

    "Wondrous! Stupendous!" Mint cried, slapping two extruded palms together with a sound like bags of beads rattling. "Your wings are most impressive. I can function at range or in melee, so please feel free to direct my movements. I am eager to explore, but if we meet trouble I will aid in neutralizing it quickly." Mint's nanobots swirled around as they spoke, their cores pulsing enigmatically. In the background, Mint was syncing files on Draconia and optimizing their composition for the expected ambient temperature.

    > Subject: Alvin the Younger
    > Species: Schlyk
    > Threat Level: Low
    > BAC: 0.03%


    "Please ask me, also, if you need help during this trip, dear Alvin and Osram," Mint said to the other two party members. "I am at your service."
     
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  20. Christopher didn’t look all that impressed, much to Osram’s dismay. He supposed magic was too common in this world for his to stand out, and it wasn’t like his tutor didn’t have any at his own disposal; the ranger spread enormous, hawklike wings that appeared from thin air before dissipating again. Osram ooh’d softly in amazement. He also mentioned the bow, which was in fact enchanted to be much more useful. Osram made a mental note to look into getting his firearms enchanted the same way.

    The pointy-eared man, who apparently was called Alvin, inquired whether he could walk on the planet with his bare feet, at which he was given a magical rod that would apparently carry him around, and repeated his request for booze. Osram was starting to think the man had a problem. He also wasn’t sure what use the man was going to be on the mission; he carried a staff and had the attire of a trained magic user, but so far he’d looked dysfunctional.

    The computer-person could at least change shapes, and it was doing it all the time- dark skin fluttering like a swarm of insects, metal balls pulsing red energy inside. It creeped Osram out to stand so close to it. Still, to be a citizen of Terrater meant never judging someone before you got to know them. When the “android” cordially offered their services to him and Alvin, Osram extended a hand. “Likewise, friend.” He said with a practiced smile showing. He quickly extended the same courtesy to Alvin, careful not to dig his claws into the man’s squishy, scaleless hide.

    “Well, that’s all I needed to know. Do we set off soon?” Osram asked. He was eager to be somewhere where life was simpler and the weather hotter.
     
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  21. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    In response to Mint’s inquiry about his magical ability, Christopher showed off an impressive pair of wings and explained that his bow had unlimited ammo. He went on to explain more about the world of Draconia telling them that the surface temperatures were mostly hot but the planet was still cool enough to sustain liquid water in some of the regions. However, because surface temperatures could get so high, he bestowed Alvin with a metal rod that could become a levitating scooter at the press of a button. The Faehawk also said that getting a drink was possible if the locals proved friendly enough.

    “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” Alvin replied hopefully. It was better than being told no at any rate. For a brief moment his eyes caught Osram’s who was giving him the same look of pity he always got from his mother and sister. Just what he needed, another being looking at him like he was some kind of charity case. He wasn’t! He didn’t have a problem, it was no different than drinking water or whatever the Dragonilk consumed for sustenance.

    Fortunately, Mint immediately shifted gears, quite literally in fact, once again voicing their excitement over the mission as well as Christopher’s unique attributes. Alvin had seen a lot of strange beings in his life but Mint was definitely near the top of the list. “Please ask me, also, if you need help during this trip, dear Alvin and Osram. I am at your service.” Mint told them exuberantly. Alvin sighed. That level of energy was going to wear him out before long, he could tell.

    “Likewise, friend.” Osram replied offering Mint and then Alvin a handshake in turn.

    “Uh… sure, me too.” he replied accepting the gesture. “I guess it the part where I share that I’m a white mage so I’ll be able to cast healing magic and protection spells on all of you.” he told them in an awkward matter-of-fact way. Alvin looked over at Mint and gave as much of an apologetic shrug as he could muster. “Well I can heal most of you. I can only restore organic tissue so unless you’re a bio-android, I can only use protection magic on you.”
     
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  22. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Christopher smiled as they all interacted, happy his group was socializing with each other well. Briefly looking to the other group nearby, he saw some of them holding bags and let out a brief gasp. He immediately searched his person, producing a few bags of his own, also with the same rune.

    "I'm so sorry I forgot this," said the Faehawk, sheepishly handing them out. "These are more commonly called Bags of Holding, apparently because of their capacity for holding lots of stuff. We can collect any resources we stumble across in these. Oh, and another thing..." He rifled around around in his pocket, soon producing a tiny sphere in the palm of his hand. It swirled with strange energy,pulsing different colors of light every so often.

    "This is what we call a Draconic Pearl," said Christopher, happy to let the others have a good look before he put it back in his pocket. "It's a resource natural to Draconia only, from what we've studied thus far. It contains a great deal of magical energy, and can be attuned to different magic to provide different effects. If we find any of these, it would be a great asset. That being said, we're ready to be on our way."

    He stepped towards the center of the floor, looking up above to the silent guardian watching overhead. The Android turned its head towards them, its face nothing but a glowing white circular surface. It pointed towards a portal up on the wall, and a large mechanical device fastened to the sides of the large metallic circle. The portal slid down to be placed directly in front of Christopher, white lines pulsing around the outside as it was activated. 'DRACONIA' soon flashed over the top of it before turning into foreign letters again and again, to accommodate the different languages spoken and the different alphabets used. The middle of the circle soon looked to be wobbling with transparent energy, which the Faehawk briefly put his arm through and pulled back intact, to show its stability.

    "Follow me," he said, and stepped through. On the other side was a completely different scene. Heat permeated throughout the reds and oranges of all hues, which soon met the eyes of anyone who looked upon Draconia, hills and mountains to either side of the vast plain of dust and debris. The thing that stood out the most was the singular building, hovering not far from where one would come out of the portal. The sign beheld the image of a black rose, flashing darkly against the exterior of what appeared to be a restaurant.

    "We can come to rest here after we're done with our collection mission," said Christopher, with a bit of a smile. "Does anyone have any questions before we go further?"

    ---

    It seemed that the woman in Shozara's group was having trouble grasping the concept of how the bag worked. The woman of orcish descent nearly said something herself, but her eyes were soon drawn to the sound of a cocking gun. She couldn't help but to notice the large mustelid carried some sort of hunting rifle, and was pre-loading it before the mission. It was clear that it wasn't very often that someone brought a gun on a mission.

    "Don't think about it too hard, just put your hand in the bag, picture the gloves, and grasp." The druid's gaze softened as she watched the mustelid trying to help the human-like woman. She visibly relaxed more, as if there had been some concern that had been dropped upon such a sight. After that was said and her team looked reasonably ready to go, Shozara nodded and looked up to The Gatekeeper.

    "Astrillon, please," she said, actually being polite to the being to show her respect. The Gatekeeper nodded, repeating a similar process as to when the group for Draconia had left, though it was a portal much higher up the wall than before. 'ASTRILLON' was labeled on the top, again flashing to the different languages and symbols. Shozara did the same thing as Christopher, putting her arm in briefly before taking it back out again.

    "As you can see, the Androids truly have a special magic of their own," Shozara explained, with perhaps a tinge of reverence. "We shall go now. Stay close." She went through, to another stark contrast from the metal building they had just been inside of. The greens of the forest were just as striking as she had claimed, a nearby lake just as strikingly blue. Vivid colors met ones eyes very quickly, perhaps even a bit too intense at times. To think that it was like that with the darkness surrounding them, and no light save for Shozara's torch.

    "Lay low," she whispered, quickly moving into the nearby brush. "We should find a reasonable location to start from. Suggestions?" It was clear she wanted to test their problem-solving skills straight away.
     
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  23. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    It seemed his teammates were already helping each other out. Rodney likely would've chirped in a few words of encouragement or advice himself, but he still wasn't even sure how he managed to get the gloves out from the bag on the first go. Apparently it really was as simple as visualizing them and just nabbing from the void. Simple instructions, but not exactly easy to put into effect, a philosophy that a lot of this magical business seemed to abide by.

    Rather abruptly, their orcish mentor seemed to come to the conclusion that they were all ready to go as she requested their destination to a particular android, who obliged and brought down a portal for them with 'ASTRILLON' flashing at the top of it... or at least he thought he caught that while it was still labeled in his native language. There was definitely an 'A' in there... but surely their margin for error was minimal in this place. Wandering into a completely different setting would probably be highly problematic... a shame he couldn't see any 'days without an accident' boards anywhere in the building. After Shozara gave a 'you probably won't get dismembered' display with her arm through the portal, they were given the O.K to proceed. Rodney had gone through a couple portals by now, this wasn't exactly his first rodeo with that phenomenon, but that didn't stop him from feeling a good deal of nervousness going through a new one to a new world entirely. Primal fear of the unknown certainly had a lot to do with it, but just the idea that they were taking some kind of magical wormhole across space itself was so reality-defying to him that he sometimes worried not believing in it enough would cause it to break down on him mid-cross... and then they'd have to sweep up his remains in two different planets for double the morbid inconvenience.

    He silently ran the thought 'this is real,' repeatedly in his head as he closed his eyes and stepped into the portal after Shozara, quickly opening them once he felt everything on him was where it still ought to be. Guess that android magic stuff was indeed pretty efficient... As he attempted to get a good visual of the environment in the dim lighting, he was astonished by just how... vibrant this forest was, even with such limited radiance. Some of it genuinely seemed to come out of professional computer artwork, it looked so unreal even when he could easily reach out and touch the trees and the ground beneath them.

    At the command to lay low, Rodney hastily squatted into a crouching position as he tried to keep up with Shozara, taking cover underneath the same underbrush. He suspected his teammates wouldn't have so difficult a time with all this stealth work, but he wasn't sure one way or the other, he was just trying to keep from falling behind himself, especially now that they were out here in the field. Couldn't risk being slow to act. Shozara asked for suggestions regarding their starting point, and something did seem to pop up in the human boy's head as a few environmental science classes scrolled through his memory... the ones he didn't sleep through.

    "Well, we're in a forest, right? Lots of plant-life, limited lighting... especially because it's night time... If this forest operates anything like the ones I know of, then we're not gonna find a great deal of plants on the forest floor. A good chunk of the good stuff is gonna be up in the canopy or the understory, so if we could find a way to get up to that level, we'd probably have more luck if we're looking for the greatest variety of resources... What are we looking for again? Herbs and fungus? I mean, even that we'll probably need to keep our heads up for... Down here we're gonna be dealing with little more than shrubs... and probably a lot more predatory beasts or monsters or something like that... but that's just what I got from my textbooks, and those were mainly for Earth forests so... grain of salt... Plan B we could always just look for signs of native civilization and try to interact and get information from them." So, about half of that was likely actual school stuff, he was mostly filling in the blanks with things he'd seen or heard in adventure movies... but hey, this was kind of a fantasy world, maybe that would validate it somehow?
     
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  24. After a sheepish apology, Christopher handed Osram a burlap sack inscribed with a symbol that looked to be of magical origin. Before the ranger had even finished his explanation, Osram had opened it and peered in, only to be greeted by an indescribable void that gave him vertigo right up until he pulled the drawsting close. Osram tied the bag to his belt and decided not to think about it any more. All he needed to do, apparently, was stuff some valuable rocks into it- in particular the one Christopher held up, a tiny pearl that swirled with light and colour. Osram was all for gathering trinkets.

    Of the two indecipherable, somewhat unnerving mechanical beings present, the one who wasn't his squadmate pointed out their destination gate from its perch, at which the gate dropped to ground level and was activated with a show of a white light. Christopher smiled reassuringly at the three of them before stepping through, which Osram didn't need- he hadn't been scared stepping through the first time, and he certainly wasn't scared now that he actually knew what the contraption did. He was first to follow the ranger through, with a stride so casual he might as well have been whistling a tune.

    On the other side, blissful heat greeted him, and for a moment Osram felt as if he was home, looking out over the arid wasteland and feeling the sun warm his scales. The Dragonilk thrived in this kind of weather; it was the cold they watched out for. What he hadn't expected to see was a civilized structure, let alone a restaurant Christopher informed them they could visit later. But then, he supposed, every world with a gate was sufficiently civilized.

    "Give it to us straight- are you expecting trouble? We are coming in well-armed, present healer excluded." Osram asked. "I mean, I'm used to killing things with scales, but that doesn't feel very in the spirit of the mission."
     
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  25. Temperature: 34C
    Humidity: 8%
    Ambient Scents: Brimstone-y


    Mint made some last-minute adjustments to their nanobot composition as they passed through the portal to Draconia. The hot air was scattering the sunlight differently, giving the sky a bright, hazy cast to organic eyes. Under magic detection, however, the dull red plain before them glittered with ambient energy and ley lines crisscrossing the land away into infinity.

    Mint was eager to start collecting magical resources in their bag of holding, which they stuck to the side of their mass like a small cape, and to converse with some fascinating draconic creatures.

    "I am detecting various ethanol solutions within the restaurant, Alvin," Mint declared helpfully. "Something to look forward to!"
     
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  26. Jada stared at her bag of holding about ready to give up on it for the time being, that was until one of her teammates took notice of her frustration with the object.

    “You're not reaching for the gloves, you're calling them to you,” the mustelid commented as he started loading his shotgun.

    She paused for a moment trying to think that over. She had actually been trying to reach for the gloves earlier, so maybe that was the problem with her first try. With that in mind Jada decided to give it another shot. She placed her had within the bag once more and just thought of the gloves this time and grabbed.

    “Huh,” Jada hummed, pulling the black scale gloves out of the bag, “Well that'll be convenient.”

    She looked over at Ark and gave him a smile. “Uh thanks for that. I've not really had much practice with magical items before, so that might have taken me awhile to get right…”

    She placed the gloves along with the antitoxin into the bag and then promptly tied it to her belt. It would probably be bad if that got lost.

    As she finished making sure everything was secure Jada noticed that Shozara had requested a portal be opened to Astrillton. The orc demonstrated that the portal was safe by placing her arm within the gate and then withdrawing it. She then motioned for everyone to follow her through.

    Stepping through the portal was a bit different then her first time. It felt more stable, but that was probably due to it being built by the someone who actually knew what they were doing and not just experimenting.

    Once through the portal Jada was greeted by one of the most vibrant forest she had ever seen. It was almost like something out of a storybook, but much darker and probably a lot more dangerous.

    Shozara wasted no time instrucking the group to follow her lead and take cover behind some of the underbrush. Jada quickly followed her lead, crouching down near her waiting for instructions. She was mildly surprised when Shoraza instead asked them for ideas on how to deal with the situation. Guess the testing starts now.

    The boy was the first to respond to the prompt, rattling of some information he had about the forests he had back home and concluding that their best bet for gathering the needed herbs and fungi would be to either climb into the trees and look closer to the canopies or they could try and locate some on the native Fey to gather more information. While those were both good ideas Jada was struck by a different thing they needed to tackle before going forward.

    “So I agree with the fact that our best bet would be to go closer to the canopy to locate things, but we do have a bit of a bigger problem right now... That being we are now in a dark forest that is potentially hostile and, while I'm not sure about everyone else, I dont have the ability to see in the dark.” As she spoke Jada looked towards Shorazas’ torch, and while it did illuminate the surrounding area a bit, that might not last very long depending on how things went.
     
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  27. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Christopher gave everyone a white sack that he explained was a bag of holding. Alvin’s face practically lit up at the thought of filling it with all types of alcohol. Infinite storage meant unlimited drinks that he could keep on his person at all times! He would no longer have to worry about a certain meddling sibling getting rid of his stash! He pulled open the collar of his robe and stuffed the bag in where he could keep it close. He would have to since they were expected to gather up a bunch of magic stones.

    With introductions and necessary preparations complete, they were ready to step through the portal to Draconia. Alvin fiddled with his metal rod looking for the button to activate the scooter function. He found it on the left tip and with a held press the rod opened up extending a long pole from its center that reached almost to the floor. A round platform then bubbled out to form the base with the full scooter now hovering just a few centimeters from the floor.

    “Neat.” Alvin mumbled looking his transport over. He was impressed by whatever science or magic, or maybe even both, that went into constructing such a device. Now he just needed to figure out how to work it. He grabbed the ends of the original rod that became handle bars and tilted his wrists forward. In response the scooter moved forward at a speed equivalent to the degree Alvin tilted his hands. Well that seems easy enough.

    Before realizing it, the others had already gone through the portal leaving him as the only straggler. He let out a deep sigh before riding through to Draconia. He could figure out more on how to drive his transport on the other side.

    The first things Alvin noted about the new world were the heat, the mountains, and how red and everything was. Osram seemed to be basking almost nostalgically. It made sense really. He was some kind of dragonborn so this place probably reminded him of home. From the few times Alvin had visited his home world of Schly, he could honestly say that conditions were the complete opposite. The environment was mostly open grasslands interspersed with dense forests and the average temperatures were between 15-25 standard units.

    As for the other party members, Mint was gazing around with a look of wanderlust while Christopher was nonchalant about the whole thing. But of course he was, he’s been doing this a lot longer then they have.

    “I am detecting various ethanol solutions within the restaurant, Alvin. Something to look forward to!” Mint told him excitedly pointing to a nearby building.

    “Mint, you are a wonderful individual.” he replied appreciatively placing his hand on the android’s shoulder. Or perhaps he should say individuals? The texture of Mint’s shoulder felt like numerous smooth grains all vibrating in sync together.

    “So yeah, let’s get this mission started so we can go dri—get something when we’re done.” declared Alvin with renewed enthusiasm. It took every ounce of willpower he had not to ride over there immediately. As long as those stones were easy to find his next drink was just around the corner!
     
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  28. Rex

    Rex Resident Furry

    The woman was able to pull out the gloves on her next try. She thanked him, explaining that she didn't interact much with magical items where she was from. Ark smiled in response, but in the back of his mind he wondered about his two new colleagues. Everyone on this world was special somehow, Ark included. So what was it that made these two unique? He didn't really have much time to ponder it though, as the orc woman lead them off to one of the portals, and through that to the world they'd be harvesting.

    On the way through, the orc spoke about Terrater's automatons with something approaching reverence, but Ark didn't pay too much attention to it. The colors of this world were all wrong, somehow. Like a painting, with the colors were far too saturated. Vivid blues and greens stood out despite the darkness, the polecat could only wonder at how awful it must be in the daylight. Their torchlight only went so far, as Ark looked out at their surroundings all the color eventually faded away into the washed out gray his nightvision provided. The contrast was striking, almost headache inducing. Colors popped out in front of him against a gray backdrop.

    Judging by his companions lack of reactions, it seemed like Ark had it the worst. The woman eventually confirmed what he expected - she couldn't see in the dark. The polecat drew his shotgun again, and flicked his ears this way and that, trying to get a sense of any nearby dangers. In the meantime, he followed the rest of the group to take cover near a bush. The orc wanted their ideas, and, by the sound if it, the boy was already attempting to leave them astray.

    "You're barking up the wrong tree," the mustelid said to the boy, keeping his voice low, "we're looking for herbs - leafy greens and flowers - and fungi. All the decomposers are down here, and all the good plants will be down here too - shrubs, flowers, and bushes. Besides, any animal worth its salt will have learned to climb the trees to escape predators, which means any predator worth its salt will have also learned to climb trees to chase them down. You'll just be a sitting duck if you try shinnying up one of those trunks."

    The polecat took a moment to scan the nearby area: lifting and turning his head, making use of his eyes, ears, and nose. Satisfied that there wasn't anything nearby, not yet at least, he looked back at the boy. "The most important thing to do is first make sure the nearby area is safe so you're not blindsided while you're foraging. I can see in the dark, my ears and nose are probably a lot better than yours, and of the three of us I'm the only one armed. So I'll keep watch while you guys harvest, sound good?"
     
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  29. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    After Christopher's group had a bit of a look at their surroundings, the dragon-like being was the first to pipe up. "Give it to us straight- are you expecting trouble? We are coming in well-armed, present healer excluded." He then mentioned that it seemed against the spirit of the mission, which caused the Faehawk to sigh softly.

    "I'm not going to fool around with you, Osram. Those warnings I gave earlier about dragons aren't to be taken lightly. People have died out here before, either by disturbing the dens of these creatures or by just being in the line of fire when they come looking for food. Luckily, Draconic is commonplace on Terrater and I have learned how to read some of it. Enough to tell whether or not we're trespassing on someone's home... It's best to stay cautious and try to find an empty cave. Though we could try our luck if the outside of the den shows signs of being more welcoming."

    Mint pointed out the existence of alcohol within the restaurant, which seemed to perk up Alvin. Well, at least he was somewhat more motivated, it seemed. Christopher smiled and motioned for them to follow him, walking past the restaurant and more towards the mountains on their left. Judging by those that were within line of sight, there were many caves littered about... some too small to fit into and some that were quite large.

    "Hold on a second." Suddenly, Christopher stopped, pointing out something just ahead of them. There seemed to be a strange glittering glow in the dust, and then something materialized from it. Small and circular, but not moving, it seemed to be a plate made from silver. The glittering stopped, and Christopher gingerly picked up the plate, looking it over a bit.

    "This can happen sometimes," he said, holding up the plate to the others. "Did anyone notice the residual magic about this place? Valuable objects can appear from those strange sparkling spots that appear here on Draconia. Either way, even if a silver plate may not look impressive, with so much gold present on Terrater, silver is actually a more valuable resource. Keep your eyes peeled, because sometimes magical objects pop out of these spots."

    That being said, Christopher lead them deeper into the mountains. Over each one that they could feasibly enter, Christopher seemed to briefly brush his fingers against the outside, looking at strange markings and then sniffing the air. He walked away from a few of those until he stopped in front of one of them. It looked like it went quite deep into the mountains, perhaps even deep underground.

    "This one seems empty, but it's possible that there may still be an occupant," said the Faehawk, pulling his bow off of his shoulder. He drew back the string, and a blue-ish arrow formed of energy appeared, dimly lighting the dark area around them. "Osram in front, I'll watch the rear. Be ready for anything."

    ---

    The human boy suggested looking up in the canopy or understory of the trees, favoring looking high rather than low. The girl agreed a little bit, but pointed out her need of light. Finally, the mustelid said that it would be better to look on the forest floor, but that it would be better to make sure they were safe first. Shozara nodded slightly, seeming to mull over the options presented.

    "Though it's true there could be valuable resources wherever we look, Mister English here has the best response," she whispered, motioning to Ark. "We should make sure the area is reasonably secure and stay closer to the ground. However, there are dangers down here as well... that is why I believe no-one should be left alone."

    She looked over all of them briefly, before nodding again. Shozara pulled out a couple small rods. They seemed to have a yellow-ish substance within, and she promptly bent one, creating a small crackling noise. The rod lit up, providing as good of a light as the torch seemed to. She tossed it towards Jada, putting out her own torch to light another rod of her own.

    "Miss Kulivok, you have already benefited from listening to Mister English. You can stay here with him to help look after us. Mister Raibert, that means you're coming with me and Thyme." She motioned to her horned owl, who gave a soft hoot and tilt of its head. "We'll scout the area whilst these two set up a small base camp. The rods should last about thirty minutes. If we're not back in that time, you two should report back as soon as possible... Which means you'll be needing one of these."

    Shozara pulled out a small metal case that seemed to flip open, with a keyboard and display screen on the front. "This is a communications device," she said, more than likely also giving it to Jada as she would have the free hands. "If you need any help, just tap on the name Uriel. That will get you in touch with the Androids, who will immediately send someone should you need the assistance. We shouldn't be too long, but you definitely can't be too careful. Stay with your partner, and good luck."

    Finally, she simply turned toward Rodney. "Will you be coming along, or will you send your robot?"
     
    #29 Dwayna DragonFire, Jun 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  30. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Rodney's face sunk once the mustelid pointed out all the holes in his line of thinking. He could tell the guy was trying to be considerate with his words, to his credit, though internally he must have thought the human's logic was downright idiotic. That was the same sort of response his old teachers used to give, the nicer ones at least, not that it mattered because either way it made Rodney feel like something of a fool no matter how the person said 'no that's wrong.' Still, no use in moping over the fact that he was going to be the team simpleton once again, this wasn't the time or place for that, so he did he best to push aside his growing anxiety as Shozara spoke in favor of this Mister English's suggestion. At least they had a plan to go by now.

    Their orcish supervisor suggested the group break into pairs as she handed some kind of flare-like device over to the other human-looking member of the party, referred to as Miss Kulivok, so that they each had some kind of lighting to help them along. Well, at least now they all had their last names designated, though perhaps they should have all properly greeted each other before the mission began... Well, perhaps everyone would find the time to bring up first names later. Rodney only briefly let that thought dwell in his mind before he realized he'd be tagging along with that adorable owl some more. In an instant his spirits lifted at this realization, and he prepared to follow after Shozara, though first she asked him whether he or the robot was going to actually accompany her. He stifled a bit of a chuckle at this, though the question wasn't invalid, it was just he had a reason as to why the robot wouldn't be a practical option right now.

    "I think it'd be better if I directly came along, ma'am. The robot doesn't exactly have a... subtle activation process, and to my understanding, since we're all whispering here, I'm guessing we're trying not to attract a lot of attention? I'll save the guy for when and if we get into some clear and present danger... Oh, by the way..." He turned back to his fellow guild candidates. "In case you guys see and hear something akin to... say... one sudden lightning strike, that's probably me, just a heads up." At that, he turned back to Shozara. "Alright, ma'am, ready to go when you are."
     
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  31. Osram appreciated the ranger's honesty about the dangers of the world they'd landed in. Still, he knew well enough how to avoid them, apparently. Osram figured they weren't being thrown headfirst into the most lethal of missions; after all, this was merely their tryout. He felt a giddyness at the idea of meeting a live dragon, even it was a mean one. The Dragonilk had only recreations of what their ancestors had looked like, based off of the massive fossils sometimes found in the wilds.

    They began to hike through the dust and debris, past the monumental restaurant to the mountainous crags just beyond it. Christopher came to a hard stop quite soon after reaching the foot of the mountain, and Osram had to look around to figure out why. Something in the ground was glittering- definitely magical. At a moment's notice, though, the light faded and was replaced by a disk with a metallic sheen.

    He listened intensely to Christopher's monologue about the effects of Draconia's residual magic, barely suppressing a smirk. Mineral riches just popped out of the ground here like trees? He was liking this planet more and more. He considered for a moment lining his own pockets with his future findings as well as the bottomless bag, but there was a chance they'd check, and theft would probably be a detriment to his overall ranking.

    For a while, in tense silence, they tailed the ranger, who stopped at each of the many cave entrances carved out of the mountainsides to ostensibly check it for danger, though Osram had a hard time figuring out what his touching the rock and smelling the air was teaching him. The marks were interesting, though- this planet's Draconic was nothing like his people's, even if they had the name in common.

    Christopher finally found cave suitable for scavenging, though didn't seem entirely convinced it was as empty as it seemed. Osram smiled when the ranger invited him to lead the pack into the dark depths of the tunnel. "No problem." He smoothly retrieved his axe from his back, pointed it forwards and muttered a "Vah'kest!", causing the blade to erupt in orange flame which lit up the cave walls, throwing eerie shadows behind stalactites and outcroppings. He strode forwards, confidently.
     
  32. Mint buzzed along, satisfied that their Friendliness Protocol appeared to be acceptable to Alvin the Younger. Christopher stopped near an area on the ground that was emitting photons and thaumic particles, the anomaly resolving itself into an article of dinnerware composed of thirty-seven parts silver to three parts copper. Prior to its appearance, the remnant of a spell flared before fading away. Possibly this was the vestige of whatever enchantment had been placed on the treasure to hide it originally; how fascinating! This could have been thousands of years ago depending on the item's age and the skill of the practitioner. Another snapshot for Mint's catalogue.

    Christopher led the party several kilometers into the mountains, passing through thorny scrub and long falls of scree and boulders off the mountainsides, and small lizards and insects scuttled through the undergrowth and among the rocks. Here and there were caves tunneling into the mountainsides, some of them small and others enormous, their rims scarred by warnings in Draconic. "No Solicitors" was a common one, according to Mint's dictionary module.

    The Faehawk stopped at one cave and unshouldered his bow. "This one seems empty, but it's possible that there may still be an occupant," said Christopher. He directed Osram to take the lead into the cave, and the Dragonilk lit his axe with a word of power.

    The air currents out of the mouth of the cave suggested it went down deep, for hundreds of meters at least. Mint powered up their energy cores but maintained a neutral conformation.

    "Lead on, dear Osram!" Mint said, following him. "My sensors detect no obstacles ahead for now!"
     
  33. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Osram made an observation about the group being equipped to fight which Christopher affirmed stating that some of the locals weren’t exactly the friendly sort which has resulted in deaths previously. Alvin grimaced at the thought of them ending up in the heat of battle. He knew he would be expected to put them back together, and while he could heal at range, by the sounds of it any trouble they ran into could also attack at range. The Faehawk reassured them that they would do their best to stay out of any unnecessary confrontations but were warned to stay on guard anyway.

    As they set off, Alvin took the time to get used to steering his scooter since he wouldn’t be able to follow along in the traditional sense. It was simple enough, turn clockwise to go right, counterclockwise for left, tilt forward to go and tilt back to stop. Things got trickier once they reached more rugged terrain. The scooter hovered but it would stay level and would bump into things or suddenly drop if elevation changed too quickly. To solve that, Alvin found that if he pulled back with his weight rather than just flicking his wrists, he could get it to rise while leaving forward caused it to dip. And it was exhausting. This trip was proving to be more of a workout than he bargained for. He was getting very thirsty. Couldn’t they just find the stones and go back to that restaurant already?

    While they traveled Christopher had them stop to talk about some random plate that was found in the dirt. Apparently random objects randomly appeared out of nowhere because of residual magic in the area. Was it too much to ask the powers that be for a bottle of ale or something? The foursome continued deeper into the mountains with their leader investigating the entrances of several caves before deciding on a good one to explore. Apparently no one was home here or else they were far deeper than the Faehawk could detect.

    After being chosen as point, Osram gleefully ignited his axe with a spell to use as both a flaming weapon and a torch to light the way. Mint followed behind practically skipping. The white mage turned to Christopher who had bow and arrow in hand to guard the rear.

    “We go in here. We gather up as many of those stones as we can find. If we’re lucky we find some silver. If we’re unlucky we have to fight our way out. Fun.” he mused dryly before gliding in with the rest of his team.
     
  34. Jada listened as the mustelid pointed out that looking for leafy greens and mushrooms would be better done closer to the ground. Along with the fact that the predators would have learned to climb trees to follow their prey. Thinking it over a moment Jada nodded willing to admit her logic was flawed and didn't complain when Shozara voted to follow Mister English’s advice to stay closer to the ground. Though when she mentioned that she was going to split them off into pairs Jada did make a bit of a face but remained silent. She didn't really like the idea of it but it would be more efficient finding things that way.

    She looked over the two objects she had been handed and concluded that they were just a glow-stick and a flip-phone, the latter to be used to call someone Uriel in the case that Shozara and Mister Raibert didn't show up before the glow-stick went out.

    “Guess where holding down the fort for now.”
     
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  35. Rex

    Rex Resident Furry

    The orc's response to their three inputs was mixed, but learned most towards Ark's viewpoint. He supposed she was going easy on the other two not to entirely dishearten them, still, it always felt nice to be right. What followed, though, just confused him. Despite what his suggestion may have sounded like, Ark hadn't wanted to split the party at all. He had simply meant that he would keep his eyes and ears peeled and his gun in his hands while his teammates collected what they needed, which would have necessitated them keeping their eyes on the ground and their hands full of garbage.

    Was this a test? Were they supposed to speak up and talk about how this was a bad idea? Was the orc honestly serious? She was going to take the human boy and fuck off somewhere to 'scout the area,' while Ark and the woman stayed behind to 'set up a base camp.' With what exactly? They had no supplies for that! And besides, given the weird light rods the orc was handing out, and the torch she had had prior to that, she couldn't see in the dark any better than the humans could. If anyone should be scouting, it was him, the only person here with night vision!

    The rods had a time limit on how long they'd burn, as well. If they ran out before the orc and the boy came back, the woman was given another strange device to use to contact someone named Uriel and the Automatons. A device she would likely not be able to see clearly when the light burned out. This had to be a test, it was like the orc intentionally wasn't thinking straight. Despite that, she was just rolling on with this whole thing, instead of pausing to ask if anyone had any questions she turned to the boy and asked him if he was ready to go.

    If Ark had any hope that either of his teammates would speak up to question this whole mess, he was quickly proven wrong. The boy was all for launching into danger and the woman was completely fine with, well, doing nothing, effectively. The polecat leaned his gun against his shoulder, freeing one hand to rub his forehead. How was he going to phrase this? He didn't want to come across like he was challenging the orc's authority, she did outrank him in this 'guild' after all.

    "Wait, none of this makes any sense," he said, "We don't have the tools or supplies necessary to set up a camp, I thought this was a simple in-and-out harvesting mission? You only gave us those bags and gloves. Why are we splitting up, and why am I on home defense and not scouting when I'm the one who can actually see the forest?"
     
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  36. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Satisfied that the group had listened to him despite Alvin's rumbling, Christopher watched their rear as the group descended into the cave. It was quite deep as Mint's sensors had betrayed, going on for quite some time it seemed. Luckily it was only the one passage so far, just leading them on a steady decline downwards. The warm air outside soon petered out to the cold damp of the earth around them.

    A bit of a ways down, the cave walls started glittering in the light of Osram's axe. It appeared that crystals of many different colors were embedded into the wall, a soft glow ebbing and flowing from them. Christopher was satisfied that they weren't being followed for the time being, so he turned his attention forward and admired the structure of the crystals. He reached a hand out to gingerly brush his fingers against one, perhaps to test it for some unknown quality.

    "The crystals on this planet don't normally do this... There could be a dragon attuned with the element of Earth nearby," he stated, turning his attention behind them again. "Unfortunately they tend to easily blend in with this sort of environment... Though more than likely, that means there's a large 'empty' chamber ahead."

    Indeed, as the Faehawk suspected, the tunnel they were going down lead to an enormous chamber, big enough to house a creature of a potentially huge size. A large formation of dirt was collected in the center of the room, and splayed about the chamber were several more points of glowing crystals. But it appeared that it wasn't just the crystals they had found - several Draconic Pearls littered the floor. Christopher stepped in front of the group then, holding up a hand.

    "Don't collect anything just yet," he said, ever cautious. "The signs are all pointing to there being something here, despite no warning signs to the contrary. It may be a young dragon just moved in, or an older dragon that just doesn't care. We may be in luck regarding negotiations either way."

    ---

    The boy seemed eager to follow her directions, and the girl seemed merely complacent or didn't want to speak up. That left Mister English, whom seemed to be the voice of reason. Perhaps he already had a lot of experience in these matters, because he had a few good points to bring up. "Why are we splitting up, and why am I on home defense and not scouting when I'm the one who can actually see the forest?"

    "You have a very good sense for these things, Mister English," complimented Shozara, thoroughly impressed. "I gave Miss Kulivok the glow rods because it is quite dark, and she cannot see very well. Mr. Raibert also cannot see very well, so he was to stay with someone that can summon light on command and has a well-sighted nocturnal animal companion if they ran out of glow sticks." That seemed to be the explanation for that move, at least.

    "However, I had not actually planned to go very far at all," she explained further, looking to all of them. "He's right to think that we should stay together instead. In a potentially hostile environment, one should always stay with their group. It is good to speak your true opinion in such a situation, regardless of what your group leader may think. If they are unopen to suggestion or criticism, they are not a good leader to have, yes? Don't be afraid to question dubious instructions, as Mister English helpfully demonstrated. We cannot make a camp, so we will simply be staying within the area and collecting samples."

    Now that the lecture was over, she looked quite serious again. "I assigned Miss Kulivok the task of calling for help should the danger be too overwhelming for all of us to handle. That still leaves myself and Mister Raibert here on collection duty for now whilst Mister English makes sure that nothing tries to creep out from the darkness around us. I'll more than likely switch partners every so often to assess the capability of all present members. That being said, we'll stay within range of sight and search the forest floor, Mister Raibert."

    Her speech over with, she began doing the job they were assigned. The forest floor appeared to have many different types of vegetation, mushrooms and flowers, with some other weird looking plants. Many of them had the same bright iridescence of the trees around them, and Shozara picked up at least a few samples of each. She seemed to be demonstrating what to do in a very hands-on type of manner, making sure her gloves were on at all times.
     
    #36 Dwayna DragonFire, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  37. The ranger's warning came just in time to stop Osram from sprinting to the first glowing pearl he laid eyes on, eager to show off his gathering skills. The mention of a possible dragon nearby put a smirk back on Osram's face- he couldn't see any sign of one in this cavernous chamber, though it could be hiding itself with magic, something this planet was constantly radiating. He could feel the Heartiron blade of his axe singing in harmony with the energy permeating the very air.

    "If we see it, I'm ready." Osram said. "I'll let you do all the talking- not my strong suit. But if it comes to a fight..." The flames of his axe reflected on his shark-toothed smile.
     
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  38. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Speak one's true opinion? He wasn't even sure what his opinion regarding this mission was in the first place! He was just trying to follow orders and learn from that... But with that lecture, and with Mr. English's comments now being commended twice-over, Rodney started wondering if he was... well... missing something here. This was all going right over his head if he was supposed to be throwing critiques around like that. Rather quickly he was going back to feeling uncertain and anxious, but nonetheless he followed after Shozara, similarly making sure his gloves were properly affixed and attempting to follow her lead, picking up whatever mushrooms or herbs he could easily identify, or whatever at least looked like what the orcish druid was grabbing.

    'Maybe I should've just let the robot do all the work,' he thought to himself as he foraged through the vegetation. 'Night vision, durability, greater senses and reflexes... but what's the point of all that if I'm leaving my prone meatbag of a human body lying around in the darkness? Not to mention the noisy activation...' It just seemed like too risky a trade-off, but Rodney the human really wasn't doing any impressing right now.

    "Miss Shozara... those prior instructions of yours... were they intentionally dubious? Like... was that part of the test?" Might as well just ask if he was so damn unsure... He only hoped he didn't word it in a way where it might come across as insulting. Oh god, did orcish people get easily insulted? What would she do? Would the owl get pissed? No, no, too many worries at once, he had to cut that out... Mushrooms and herbs... just find more mushrooms and herbs.
     
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  39. "How fascinating!" Mint chirped, scanning a nearby Draconic Pearl with their sensors. "Its thaumic energy density is extremely high and it is radiating very little! A superb concentration of magic."

    Mint relaxed their own nanobots and began to make broader sensor sweeps of the cave, hoping to detect the dragon nearby and impress Christopher. It wasn't immediately apparent what the trick would be; there was a broad spectrum of Earth energy in the cave, with slightly different varieties suffusing slightly different mineral deposits, but there wasn't an obvious DRAGON HERE silhouette by any means.

    "Christopher, my dear, what is the best way to attract our esteemed host's attention?" Mint asked. "I would hate to be rude!"
     
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  40. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    The tunnel they descended into was much cooler than the temperature outside. Alvin mused that the ground might even be comfortable enough to walk on but for now he’d continue riding his scooter so as not slow everyone down. He would have thought that this far below the surface the only light left would have been that of Osram’s axe, but contrary to that assumption the cave walls were alive with glittering crystals.

    The Schlyk shifted his eyes over the walls avaricely wondering how much one these crystals would go for back on Terrater. Gather up enough and that’s drinking money right there. Christopher pointing out that the crystals usually only do this when an Earth Dragon is near however made Alvin think better on this plan. Stealing from dragons was usually a bad idea. …And yet they were going to be stealing its pearls. Yeah that was smart.

    As the Faehawk surmised, they found an open cavern at the end of the tunnel. Most likely the dragon’s den. The area was filled with more crystals as well as the Draconic Pearls they sought. Alvin took the opportunity to climb off his scooter and, with the push of a button, stow it back as a rod. Collecting these things would be much easier if he could move around freely and he found the floor of the cave was quite comfortable.

    Christopher suggested they ere on the side of caution however as there was still no sign of the dragon. Mint was all too thrilled to ask how to summon it. Without question Osram was raring to meet it too. Alvin looked around at his teammates feeling increasingly baffled.

    “So rather than take the loot while the dragon is away, we’re going to wait for it to be right in front of us and ask it “Pretty please” and hope that it doesn’t try to eat us?” he asked in frustration. He really wished he was drunk right now. This plan might make more sense that way. Being sober sucked.
     
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