Knight's Log 8-24-12

Gate 1-1 is easily accessible from a number of locations and various warpgates, the most easy of which to use is the portal located at the very top of Arthur Lowell's house. The location it leads to is quite peaceful; there are no initial threats to speak of, besides a few wandering imps that seem to have no interest in the recent arrivals. With both the Union and Confederacy independently interested in the ongoing events, and the public promise of a large number of rewards that can be obtained, there's quite a reason to head this way.

The Gate 1-1 landing site seems to be a small clearing in a forested area that cannot quite seem to decide if it is woodlands or rainforest. The sound of various local fauna is thick in t air, but it is surprisingly clear of bugs, as if populated heavily by their predators. There is a stream, flowing from the north, full of clear water. There is a path leading to the north that winds alongside the river which looks like people have passed by recently, and the sound of a great deal of noise, the sort produced by various people in a settlement of some sort. There appears to have been much heavier traffic heading to the south, unmarked by a path but clearly purposeful in direction. It's not impossible to head in the other directions, though, if other possible investigations take interest.

From all parts of the planet's surface, massive stone spires can be seen at various distances and at various heights, interconnected by irregularly-shaped stone bridges. It's not clear what's at the top, but various natural structures and openings dot the sides of these spires. It is clear from experienced observation that while there are spires above, there are also spires below; all surface area seems to be on top of these spires, including the current surface.

SUMMARY - Arthur Lowell < - Welcome to the Land of Spires and Frogs. Theme: http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/frogs

The Imps that wander are a rather quirky-looking race. They look to be combinations in various mixtures of several themes; many of them are partially robotic, some wear cliche mobster suits of some kind, some seem composed of stone or bone, several seem to have fuses leading into their skulls and others seem to have the tentacles of a mindflayer running along their jaws. Several have functional wings composed of various materials. None of them are immediately hostile; all three feet of their height look potentially vicious, though, so those not seeking a fight ought to just avoid them, though that's not a problem.

(Gate 1-1)
Cheradenine arrives through a warpgate, taking his time to step forward and take in the new surroundings. He looks at the imps, among many other things. No bicycle today; he's not sure what to make of this new (to him), unknown territory. No courier vest either; an odd, unofficial job, so he'll keep it low key.

The teen starts to meander towards Gate 1-1, pulling a sealed container from his bag of distinct purple and with a symbol some might recognize. Che turns it over in his hands with a faint crease of his brow and frown, looking for instructions on exactly how to find the addressee.

MEANWHILE, DIMENSIONS FAR AWAY:

A young Link is likely to have heard all about the recent uproar in Earth-1189 about a growing fiefdom that seems to be being rapidly supplied with massive amounts of unusual energy weapons that don't sit well with the other locations. Throughout hyrule-styled adventuring through the labor-heavy kingdoms of the planet he could easily have collected information, which when processed by Adela, the resident weapons supplies expert, and analyzed by X and his holo-companion, the energy-weapons expert, will be found to have been the result of some sort of smuggling effort. This seems to have come to rest in a hastily-constructed warehouse-like location.

This is isolated in a large plains area, with little to no presence of trees or even mountains. It's a flat approach, and those doing so are not impeded in their use of vehicles in any way. Closer examination of either the records or of the building itself show nothing but a nearby stable, a nearby barracks/living area for the laborers, and what seems to be a massive storage area. It seems to be large enough to contain some kind of giant structure.

Easily visible is some kind of track through the plains; it looks like something giant was dragged out here into the middle of nowhere, as if to be hidden, though the investigative abilities brought to bear were more than a match for this sort of simple hiding.

When Lee arrives through the gate, he immediately looks around, and considers what sort of place this might be. He looks over himself, hmming in thought. "I think I need to transform into a human, just in case." His typical outfit shifts, turning into a white short-sleeved t-shirt, with a pair of green denim shorts that stop just above his knees, flared out quite widely. His muscle tone has also been completely smoothed out. Though his shoes remain the same, and he continues to wear his arm wraps.

That done, he begins to walk North, in the direction of the sounds he hears.

(Gate 1-1)
Raven is already at the gate landing site, of course; she's been poking around looking for more frogs lately, but today she's just here to torment the imps; sitting on a stump, and grinning at them, all teeth and scarred face and wild, slightly unmatching eyes. Occasionally… She whips out a small water gun, and sprays it at them, coating the imp in sticky water mixed with strawberry jam. Tryign to goad them into attacking her.
… The fact that she has the Deadshot sitting at her side is Prrroooooobably the reason they're not taking the bait. Or else are thinking twice on actually attacking her. I mean. It's a shotgun the size of Seras Victorua's Harkonnen. And it shoots /Swords/. Can you blame them?

SOMEWHERE COMPLETELY UNRELATED:

"Hang on a sec," Vruasa Telash says to Arerth Rialth, who is inexplicably going to be his questing partner today despite the fact that they hate eachother, "I need to go make sure something happens the way it's supposed to before we get things going." He vanishes then, just like he usually does when he uses his temporal acceleration to fast forward through boring parts of life.

======> ACCELERATE: BE THE PLOT DEVICE

"Hey." Vruasa says, appearing completely out of nowhere a few feet between Cheradenine and Raven DeVanos with all the speed and abruptness of the freaking Flash. He points towards Raven, "Horn-obsessed lady. Go hang out with that guy over there for a while. I don't have time to explain, I have my own shit I need to be doing. Just do it."

======> ACCELERATE: RETURN TO YOUR OWN STORY

It is then that the Knight of Time vanishes once more, and turns back up next to Arerth. He's panting from the exertion, which /despite the way it looks/, is not actually super speed and does entail him running the whole goddamn way in fast forward.

"Okay," He says to his fashion-obsessed hate-companion, "give me a second and we can get on with it."

(DIMENSIONS AWAY)
For this venture, Adela Ryan Elliford has lost the business suit, braided her hair, and donned an outfit that's definitely not her typical fair. A crimson, fairly straight skirt, white blouse, and many colorful adornments including a luxurious cloak, with leather boots and belt that holds her weapon of choice: a sword. A simple straight sword of all things.

Pride demands that if she go somewhere uncivilized, she at least be able to impress no matter the circumstances.

This is what she has worn through the ENTIRE investigation that has brought the team to near the warehouse. She's currently standing in a group of trees near said warehouse, staying behind some bushes and glaring at the ramshackle building in the distance, eyes sharp as daggers.

"Well. It seems we've found our prey."

(Gate 1-1)
The large package is roughly briefcase size, and came with a convenient message.

Courrier,

Your job is to locate this woman and deliver this package to her. She is extremely difficult to locate and to contact, so this will be a sustained job. You will be compensated for expenses and paid daily. The woman is known for teleporting to various places and spending large amounts of time in an unknown location. She has one known contact who is currently on the Land of SPires and Frogs often, doing his own work. Included are pictures of each. Bonus will be given for confirmation of the seal being maintained until opening by the recipient.

<>

The pictures are distant pictures of Black Gold Saw and of Psyber. They appear to be inside some kind of metal facility, in the middle of walking somewhere. The pictures are slightly blurry.

The briefcase-sized package has that large, recognizable symbol, and that distinct purple shade, that Raven might recognize, if she gets a look at it.

ALSO SOMEWHERE COMPLETELY UNRELATED:

"what could be more important than me???"
There he goes. Damnit.

Arerth uses the few moments she has alone to rummage through her Captchalogue deck, producing a blue hat that matches Vruasa pretty much perfectly. If you're curious, she is currently wearing a bracelet of that color. She plans ahead, you know?

"oh there you are!!!"

Arerth plops the hat on the exhausted troll's head.

"that i$ much!!! better now I am not a$hamed to be travelling with you!!!" It is only then she thinks to ask. "where are we going anyway???"
(DIMENSIONS AWAY)
Weapon smuggling? Even though it's on a seperate iteration of his Earth, X knows that it is his duty to investigate. After confirming the location and the facts through both Drs. Light and Cain, X vanishes. A blue beam of light would be on the scene in a matter of moments, though for the intent of investigation, he phases his armor away, appearing to be nothing more that a teenaged human boy. That appeared from a column of blue light from the sky.

Yeah.

Dressed in a casual blue sweater and black pants, X looks between the structures indicated in his map and the track along the ground. While investigation is a major skill of Maverick Hunters, X's abilities aren't the strongest. His instinct, however, is to proceed to the largest of the structures and examine the area there for a sign of whatever had caused the ground track. He casts his gaze at Adela, then shrugs. Subterfuge isn't his strong point. When he's there, his presense is fairly easy to detect.

Somewhere, possibly somewhere close, perhaps somewhere incredibly far away, there is a jangling of keys, the rattling of a knob… and a door in the sky opens up. Beyond the door is a pathway in the night sky of purple fire - and a man. In a nice suit, tucking a ring of keys into a pocket before stepping through into the session and shutting the door behind him.

And then there is no door, and just Loros standing there, looking thoughtful.

Perhaps his arrival is observed, perhaps it is not.

(Gate 1-1)

Progressing through the heavily forested area along the river to the north on the path reveals several things; various imps wander between the trees, climbing about them, and occasionally dropping out of them, but all of them seem contented unless approached. No more challenging Underlings appear to be present. Eventually, the trees separate and open up into a wide clearing, wherein a small village can be seen.

The village is rather primitive, seeming to be constructed of a haphazard mish-mash of various woods and mud-based substances. Oddly enough, there's a fair bit of strangely unremarkable steel all about, scattered through various structures at irregular intervals. No structures exceed one story, and the area surrounding the village seems dedicated to the farming of an unitentifiable crop, one that grows in an oddly vertical fashion similar to that of corn, but featuring an entirely cylindrical shape with slightly erratic minor bends along the body. The village in general doesn't seem at all hostile. You may approach at your discretion.

The village's contents are a bit more unusual. It seems to be populated by, of all things, rather large blue iguanas. Compared to the average human, they appear particularly stout, and are about as short as an average child while standing on their hind legs, which appears to be what they're doing. Despite still not really being humanoid, they appear to be both sapient and dexterous, apparently being the residents and the creators of the small village. They all have a deep blue skin and distinctly yellow eyes, and all of them move in a particularly energetic, agitated fashion. A lot of them loiter, much in the same way as an angsting teen or, say, an NPC in an RPG.

(Gate 1-1)
Raven is just about to start laughing at a poor imp schmuck when *POP!* Suddenly, Alien what the hell- "BLUH!" - Raven falls off her seat in a heap, staring blankly a moment. Then she looks between Vruasa and Che, and back, but when she goes to ask the troll why the hell would she want to hang out with that dork but Vru is already gone what the fuck.
She stares. She shakes her head, and she stands up, hefting the deadshot, by strap, over onto her back, as she starts his way. "Hey, yo, you look a little lost, son, you need any heeeeeee…l.p." She stops. She stares at the package, and one eye twitches at the corners. Okaaaay. She's seen that symbol before. Eyes dart narrowed. She says nothing at first.

(Gate 1-1)
Cheradenine reads, then quietly stuffs the briefcase back in his bag. Yes, it's that big. Well, but not big enough that it isn't a bit awkward to fit in. But with some experimentation, and awkwardness as he tries to hurry with Raven's approach, he gets it! Cheradenine knows better than to walk around with something valuable looking and in plain view.

Che stares. First at Vruasa, then at Raven. Let's see, taunting the local imps, carrying a BFG… leather jacket and shorts, steel toed boots. Uhhh. Cheradenine looks just a little bit spooked, he even takes a step back. He looks aside, then back, pushes up his glasses slightly and asks quickly, "Hey, uhm, you know where the 'Land of Spires and Frogs' is?"

Link's there along with Adela and X. Obviously he doesn't need any special clothes to fit in around here. "So, what's our plan?" he asks now that the group seems to be complete.

"Hey!" Lee calls out, looking like some sort of hiker in his green shorts and white t-shirt. He heads into the village, possibly considering that vaguely calling out to a village was rather pointless. "This reminds me of a demon village." he mutters to himself, stopping once he gets a few feet in.

(OUTSIDE THE WAREHOUSE)
"I'm debating the merits of strolling in through the front door and terrifying them all shitless." Adela replies smoothly to the Hylian, and she's clearly SERIOUS.

"It's the simplest way, and the last they'd expect. Also the most dangerous, of course."

X is nodded at, meanwhile, and the CEO shows him a hint of a smile. It's not a very friendly one. It's all business.

"Making sure time…" Vruasa breathes in heavily as he tries to catch his breath, unable to resist having a hat placed on his head, and honestly not really caring that it's there so much, "… doesn't stop. You need time… to keep existing. Ergo time is… important because you… are important." It is an easy way to placate her, though he expects that from Arerth's perspective he's been gone way too fucking long. It's hard to tell with these time shenanigans sometimes. Why the hell did she have that hat ready to slam down over his horns like that, anyway?

As to the matter of where they're going, the knight holds up a hand to indicate that Arerth should wait until he can speak without taking a break every other second. It doesn't take him too long to recover, at which time he says, "We are going to go check out some stuff in a library in the Land of Spires and Frogs. I'm not sure where one is but there are a few in my world so there's bound to be some here unless they've gone and murdered all the retarded locals. They're too fucking stupid to be a threat though, so I doubt they've bothered with a massacre like that."

"Also I am going to plant some clues and let some other people do some of the work for us. I'm not sure who yet. I'll let you know when I'm future me." Vruasa isn't certain that this is an amenable situation to Arerth, for whom the time shenanigans are probably somewhat more confusing. Shaking his head a little he adds, "Unless you have something better in mind. Frankly I find libraries fucking boring but I don't know that there's much else I can do about this shit right now. That guy who seemed to know what happened in the crypts doesn't seem to be around just yet. Dunno where he'd be even if he were."

(Gate 1-1 -> NORTH VILLAGE)

Various structures are immediately visible to the approaching Monk:

One appears to be larger than all the others and has a very official look to it, the sort that makes one imagine it's where leadership is done. Records, presumably, are kept there in some archive room, and it's easy to see that the most leaderly resident of the primitive village would also likely be there, or at least one could be directed to them.

There's a town square of sorts (though it's circular in shape). It seems to be surrounding a well made of green crystal substance, it's not quite clear what that is. It looks like there were a lot of the locals here a while ago, but there aren't anymore. There are a few dropped flags laying about.

There is also what appears to be a meeting hall or social gathering location, one that seems to have been merged with the local equivalent of a tavern.

Near it is what seems to be a religious structure of some kind, judging by the prominence of its symbols, but the symbol it seems to feature most is a large eight-lined whirl, just slightly spiraling counter-clockwise, and visually resembling the Borjgali.

There are several small shops with various goods to offer. It is difficult to tell at this distance and degree of detail what exactly is being offered, and they all seem open and awaiting interest or business.

A variety of other facilities can be located if they are sought specifically; any who wish to may investigate specific kinds of location at their leisure.

Raven… quirks a bit of a smile at Che. "Why, you're standin' in the middle of it, son. This whole land is the Land of Spires and Frogs… But I get th' feelin' maybe you're lookin' for somethin' specific." She gestures to the package. She still feels somewhat.. hm. Apprehensive. That symbol. Hmmmm. "Anyway, name's Raven DeVanos, I'm a merc. You need to get somewhere, I can go with you, I mean, look at the wildlife. Most of them aren't that much bigger," She gestures at the imps, "But some of them are about as big as a bloody house, so you Miiight need someone skilled at handling them." she says, smirking. "I could be your bodyguard for the time bein'."

(Dimensions away)

Meanwhile in events running roughly parallel with those within the incipisphere, Adella's approach and that of X would find no substantial opposition. It doesn't look like the place is heavily occupied or even fortified. It looks kind of crappy, actually, like it was constructed in a slipshod fashion and in a big hurry.

There are some large front doors. They look like the sort meant for wagons to leave and enter through. Records that the group could turn up initially show that this just goes directly to the storage area, which seems to be most of the building.

There are also back entrances for what is referred to by a lot of things but may as well just be the medieval equivalent of a management office. This is presumably where the overseer stays. The whole building is, on close inspection, mostly constructed with decaying or junk wood, but oddly there are a few bits of metal, roughly torn out of something and used as ad-hoc repair materials. There are no windows; this is clearly a terrible place to work.

Cheradenine looks around and frowns slightly at his surroudings. Then sighs faintly. Yes, this really was going to be an ongoing task. To Raven, he introduces himself simply, "Cheradenine. You can shorten that if you like." The teen gives Raven a mildly skeptical look. But he did have to consider other dangers… "What's the cost?"

It would seem Loros has somehow found himself upon the Land of Spires and Frogs.

Not that he knows that's what it is, as of yet. He fishes a cigarette out of a coat pocket. Gripping it between his teeth, he cups his hands around the end. There is a flash of flame as he takes a slow drag on it and exhales a dense cloud of smoke, one shot through with tiny sparks in various colors.

Gazing up, he observes softly to himself, "Hn. No stars."

And then he starts strolling - through the sky - in the general direction of that village that was mentioned earlier.

Lee crosses his arms, considering the various buildings in the village. "Well, I'm the Monkey King, and the President of the United Fists of Freedom, so I should probably see who runs this place! Maybe they need protection from the war." He begins to approach the large official-looking building, though bends down to pick up one of the flags for inspection on the way.

Maybe he should consider shifting forms again. But what of these people eat monkeys?

"oh well I gue$ that make$ $en$e!!!" Time shenanigans, check. She's certainly confused, but past a point you learn to stop asking the Knight of Time questions and just roll with it, especially when he is your server player. She considers; libraries are boring and the locals are probably totally unfashionable, maybe she can use this time to introduce FASHION to these primitive lizards. Or find books on fashion, because maybe human fashion is worth studying.

"wait i have an idea!!!"

Arerth produces her trollPhone (totally not an iPhone).

royalSubjugglator [RS] began trolling FUTURE deusexLongcoat [DL] (10 MINUTES FROM NOW)

RS: hey
RS: hey
RS: hey
RS: are you doing what we are $upposed to be doing yet???
RS: and can you tell me what it i$???
RS: did I get a better idea???

(Gate 1-1)
"No cost," Raven says, in return to Che, "I'm bored, you could use someone to kick monster ass, so if I help you out, I have something to do, and you get to where you need to go safely. Win win for both of us." She shrugs! And then adds, "Although if you waaaant to give me something I guess you could just tell me where you got that package from. C'os I think I've seen those markings on it before." She says, with a shruggish smirk.

(Gate 1-1)
Cheradenine hesitates, but reluctantly nods his acquiescence. Then perks. One hand reaches under his hair to scratch the back of his neck. And the teen intentionally sidesteps the question by asking curiously, "Where'd you see them before?"

(Gate 1-1)
Raven smiles amuded: "Well, I kinda ran into someone wearin' that symbol on him. So I figure maybe it's kind of like a uniform? I'unno. Anyway. You need to deliver that somewhere? There's a village just… uh, thataway," she gestures through the woods, "from here. Maybe you need to take it there or something? Who's it for?"

(North Village)

The various creatures don't seem to react as though Monk were an unusual thing, though he sticks out. The flag he picks up bears an unusual symbol; it looks like the Confederacy flag, but over it is a dark rendering of a large, clawed hand drawing over the strings of a lute.

Meanwhile, the hut Monk enters is crowded, but not with Iguanas. There's only one, and the most notable fact about him is that he seems to have a massive, long beard. He looks a lot like exactly what you'd expect a village elder to be. He's also hard at work on the scrolls that are the true source of crowding in the room; stacks of tangled papers tower up. He doesn't notice Monk's entry yet, continuing to work on the delicate symbology of the incomprehensible writings.

As X's optics take in the various slipshod construction choices in the main building, his clothing changes in a subtle flash. His sweater is now red, and his pants are silver. for reasons only he really knows. He strolls toward the front, massive doors, and takes the true Hunter's approach to a problem. As he walks, one might notice a subtle rise in temperature, although there's no apparent reason why. With Adela and Link also on the scene, he's certain his back is well defended. So, he pushes/pulls the doors open, and moves to walk inside.

"I suppose that answers any deliberations." Adela goes a bit wide-eyed when X's clothing shifts, but she gestures to Link and strolls up next to the android, hand already on the hilt of her still-sheathed sword. She strides confidently up to the door alongside her ally, and springs a grin. It's time to get to work!

Cheradenine still seems reticent to discuss the actual not-briefcase package. Still looks a little tense to. But this time he sort of answers: "To those symboled people I guess. Where'd you see him?"

Link nods and follows X down toward the doors. He doesn't have his weapons out just yet, but he's prepared. He doesn't have any fancy optical things so he's just relying on his eyes to scan the area as they approach.

"This is really fucking not the time to be playing with your trollPhone, Arerth." Vruasa grouses, attempting to look forward and get a bearing on where the hell they need to go. He actually hasn't visited the retarded lizard villages in Arthur's world yet, or else this would be a lot easier and more straightforward. God dammit. The first thing he's going to do once this is over is alchemize a HUD with a map that fills out as you explore an area.

TEN MINUTES FROM NOW…

FDL: god fucking d@mmit RS
FDL: no you do not get a better idea
FDL: you h@rass me so much that I get distr@ed and nothing h@ppens
FDL: just tell p@st me to @cceler@e to twenty minutes from then
FDL: we'll all be h@ppier that way

"So what did I tell you?" Present Vruasa asks Arerth, arms folded over his chest.

"Excuse me!" Lee speaks up once he arrives into the hut, rolling the flag up and holding it in one hand. "My name is Monk Lee, the Monkey King, the King of Curry Fruit Mountain, and the President of the United Fists of Freedom, whose goal is to defend people from the war between the Union and the Confederacy." he introduces and exposits, bowing his head politely. "I'm here to help, though I'm not sure how. And I don't know a lot about this world."

"I saw're him in a cave, actually." Raven says, thoughtfully, "But I think I know a way to get their attention if you need me to help you find'em. The symbol people I mean." She says, pointing at the mark on the package. "You any good at making frog noises?" She asks, amusedly, before she looks about the clearing, squinting. no, not a good idea to do it here. "C'mon, though, if we're gonna find them, we gotta go to the village and make a bit of noise there to attract their attention."

"ba$ically you confirmed to me you are an a$hole!!!" Arerth frustratingly replies as she pockets her phone after cutting the trolling of future people short. That was the worst idea she's had yet! Next time she'll ask future HER instead of future asshole mcdouchebag.

"whatever!!! we will figure out what to do once we get $omewhere!!! in the meantime you $hould really consider my propo$al to let me take your mea$urement$ $o I can make you better clothe$!!!"

This harassment will in fact continue for the next ten minutes.
At least as they walk while chatting they get closer to that library, right? It's just a matter of time until they get there! Say, twenty minutes. Hint.

From here, moving to the Southern Spires is a simple matter of moving… Well, south. This will involve crossing a variety of stone bridges, the first of which seems to begin just at the southern edge of the forest, where the sheer drop around the bridge seems to indicate that the Gate 1-1 landing site is also one of the spires. It may be difficult to navigate without flight or an otherwise high-altitude perspective, but steadily progressing to the south will lead through various small enclaves and caves in the interior of the sides of the other spires as any group progresses along the assorted bridges.

The stone bridges sound odd, once approached, and there is the slight feeling of some manner of movement, but nothing to make one wary. They are wide enough for a whole group to walk on comfortably, and are somewhat rounded. Occasionally there are haphazardly-constructed wooden handrails. Below the bridges lies a sheer drop into a planet-wide ocean below. Though one could grab another bridge in passing, one clearly does not want to go over the edge here.

After a lengthy period of walking, off in the distance can now be seen several particularly inhabited spires; various blue forms move about atop them and along their sides, all centered at the highest area. Several buildings are visible, though at this distance it's hard to determine what they are. A few more bridges must be crossed until it can be reached, but it is certainly within range of a short walk, and will be in sight at all times.

While walking, various small fountains can be encountered. They all appear to have been smashed or defaced forcefully, and with careful examination one can determine that, before, they took the form of an intricately carved frog. They still function as water dispensers, but no longer have a froglike form.

Loros half tilts his head to one side, as if listening to something only he can hear as he strolls and smokes his way south. Walking maybe… twenty feet off the ground. He doesn't seem much bothered by having to go around spires.

(Dimensions away)

The interior of the storage area is the sort you can dramatically open from the outside. THe lack of windows means bright light from the ouside streams in behind the group, immediately blinding the inhabitants. And there are some; it looks like really, really tired and dirty laborers. PResumably the serfs of the fiefdom responsible for the smuggling.

There are several tables running roughly parallel to the angle of entry, and they're very long. They're of an out-of-place metal construction, as if similarly stolen from something more futuristic. There's tons of archaic movement equipment; elaborate pulley systems made to let something giant be dragged long distances. And the something giant that goes several stories up is what looks like a meteor. Pockmarked with holes, the meteor looks like it's been dragged miles through plains to get here, but otherwise seems natural.

Along the tables are what look like, of all things, wide varieties of prohibition-era weapons. In fact, it looks like the arsenal of a cliche mob. But not all of the guns are standard-looking. Some of them look as though they have stone or bone components, various drums and magazines seem to have metal, bone, or stone tentacles emerging from them, and there are other such strange elements to the design.

THey seem to be foolishly packing the weapons into barrels for some reason. There are a pair of wagons here that are in the process of being loaded. It's fairly clear, though, that the weapons are not being manufactured on-site. The inhabitants don't seem to be eager to pick them up, but that's a mixture of being blinded by sudden light and not really knowing what these distinctly not-serf-looking types are going to be doing. They've all stopped work for now though.

(Gate 1-1)
Cheradenine actually, if only weakly, smiles. "You can? That'd really help." Frog noises? "Uhm. Not really…" He gives Raven a quizzical look, curious it seems but he doesn't articulate the question with words. He follows Raven's gaze around, then turns his head back to nod. "Right behind you."

(North Village)

"Ah!" The elder Iguana turns around energetically. "Perfect! Hello there, it is a tremendous pleasure to make your acquaintance, Monkey King! Hello, hello, I am the Secret Leader! I am the leader of secrets, and also things that are not secrets. Welcome to North Village! I had not heard you were arriving, which I should have because I am also the leader of things that are not secrets."

He points at Monk with a short, conversational gesture. "Ah! Are you here about that problem with the Complacency? I heard something about the Confederacy being involved with them, and the Union with that Witch of Flight. I don't know much about the Confederacy or the Union though, those are secrets I'm not leading!"

"Whatever, you were probably just distracting me from something more important." Vruasa answers, throwing up his hands in frustration and wandering off to grab his own trollPhone. It is black with blue trim, and accordingly has exactly the acceptable amount of color in it. The next nine minutes are spent fussing back at Arerth about his clothing, including such gems as, "Quit using your fashion obsession to make flushed advances towards me!" and similar. On the tenth minute he holds up his hand again to indicate that he needs a moment.

PAST royalSubjugglator [RS] (TEN MINUTES AGO) began trolling deusexLongcoat [DL]

PRS: hey
PRS: hey
PRS: hey
PRS: are you doing what we are $upposed to be doing yet???
PRS: and can you tell me what it i$???
PRS: did I get a better idea???
DL: god fucking d@mmit RS
DL: no you do not get a better idea
DL: you h@rass me so much that I get distr@ed and nothing h@ppens
DL: just tell p@st me to @cceler@e to twenty minutes from then
DL: then we'll all be h@ppier.

Throwing his hands up in the air and only narrowly avoiding throwing his trollPhone into the ceiling, Vruasa points at Arerth with the phone and says, "This totally isn't fucking working. I'm going to troll PB and just ask him where the fucking library is."

And so he does.

(Gate 1-1)
Raven starts leading Che through the forest, toward the town where she met the farmer that one time with the tewers, half wondering if the cranky little guy will be there again; she never got to find out if he got let off the hook for her finding the tewers. Hm.
"Well, see, the frog thing is kinda hard to explain, but, well. if I make enough noise about frogs, they'll show up trying to stop me, and then you can give them their package deal," she says, lazily, before she considers. "I guess I should warn you, too, people in this town we're going to, so we can attract their attention? Yeah, half of them think I'm evil. I mean, I could tell you I'm not but that doesn't mean you'll believe me. Just, lemmie promise you right now that I've already met my quota for 'being a raving asshole' for the next five years."

Deelel had been going to catch up with the Secret Leader she's got some questions for him and she felt like getting out of Arthur's house today. She's been keeping to the area or going to CW's to test out her new power tp alter the game space. Today she's not making use of it' she's heading to North villiage, her light jet would be spotted and prehaps remebered by the locals or at least get the attention of any outsiders as she goes to set down as the nearest landing point to the Secret Leader's home. She's got no idea he's got a visator at the moment.

(DIMENSIONS AWAY)
"Dr. Light, are you seeing this?" X asks quietly. The reply comes from inside his head. <Yes, X. I do not know what manner of weapons those are, but it is clear to me that they are not something to be left in the hands of such people.> X nods, then steps forward, eyeing the strange archaic/gangster/abomination weapons with a weary eye. "Tell us," he says after a moment, "where you procured such dangerous looking artifacts. These are clearly not normal devices you pack away in such a strange manner, and I have reason to believe they are not natural to this world." X crosses his arms, taking in the appearence of the serfs. 'It appears,' he thinks to Dr. Light, 'that they are being held here against their wills.'

Lee nods in response to being here to help, unrolling the modified Confederate flag. "The Confederacy and the Union are at war, and Unaffiliated people often get caught in the middle. Why they're at war is complicated and even I don't completely understand it, but we'll defend you from both. I have people who can help, and I, as their leader, can help too! Sorry for not announcing my arrival, I wasn't sure where I was going!"

He crosses his arms, looking serious and thoughtful with those wide and intense eyes. "So, how can we help? What are your problems?"

(Gate 1-1->Forest)
Che follows behind. And stares contemplatively at Raven, though she won't notice unless she looks back (And Che will look away). His eyes eventually stray to the forest, a finger distractedly playing with the tip of his bangs. "Is it really going to be that easy?" And after another moment of silence, "So uh, what happened between you and them?"

Arerth waits patiently while Vruasa appears to be doing something more important than accepting the gifts of royalty. What a jerk! When a queen offers you free clothes you take them!

And by wait patiently, one actually means that the female troll produces a measuring tape and starts gauging Vruasa's sizes from a few feet away, one eye closed and mind in full-on "make up for the distance using MATH!!!" mode. These are not going to be the best measurements ever but she makes the best of Vruasa being busy on his phone.

And then quickly hides the tape when he seems done.

"$o did PB have direction$ for u$???"

(DIMENSIONS AWAY)

One of the nearby serfs frowns at X. He breaks into that classic garbling of old english and horrible slang traditionally used by the lower class in medieval times. But it translates roughly and it's not going to be detailed verbatim here because that would be dumb. "What? What?! These come right out of that rock thing, that's natural because it's just a rock. What are you talking about, 'unnatural'? Who the hell are you people?! What are you even doing here?" The idea of a raid seems foreign to them, at least from people who don't immediately look like members of some kind of army. It's fairly clear that they will need either social finesse or a small display of intimidation to make it clear what's going on.

"I suggest you listen to him." Adela intones beside X, her lips pursed seriously as she regards the operations going on inside the warehouse of sorts. "As well as stopping. The operation is over, starting now."

(Gate 1-1 -> Southtown)

The Southern Spires are an arrangement of eight spires surrouding a ninth spire, all of which stick out in the location quite obviously, from height and other contributors. They are arranged in what appears to be perfect geometric octagonal shape, with each spire having a bridge to its neighbor and to the central spire. The approach to the town can be done from any angle, but it's easiest to reach the nearest, northmost spire, which most of the trans-spire bridges lead to. All the structures seem to be cylindrical huts, where wood and dried mud are interspersed with metal. The larger and more important a structure seems, the more metal it seems to have. It all appears to be scrap metal, though. Only a few of the structures reach above three stories. They are oddly designed with the proportions of a human in mind, despite their population.

It seems to be populated by, of all things, rather large blue iguanas. Compared to the average human, they appear particularly stout, and are about as short as an average child while standing on their hind legs, which appears to be what they're doing. Despite still not really being humanoid, they appear to be both sapient and dexterous, apparently being the residents and the creators of the larger settlement. They all have a deep blue skin and distinctly yellow eyes, and all of them move in a particularly energetic, agitated fashion. A lot of them loiter, much in the same way as an angsting teen or, say, an NPC in an RPG.

From all points of the town, the central spire can be seen smoking slightly. There are errant pieces of stone present, scattered throughout the environment and occasionally lodged in structures awkwardly.

(Che and Raven)
"Oh, not much, just someone's been spreading rumors around the place that I'm a hag, and they've apparently got like, sickeningly high charisma or some shit so everyone believes them even though I haven't even done jack, and have actually been trying to help them." She says, as they slide from forest to outskirts of Northtown seamlessly. She doesn't look back to see that Che's there; somehow just knowing. It's one of her weird things.
"Anyway. When we get to this town I guess the fastest way to get the symbol guy's attention is to start uh, doing this." She pauses, looks about the outskirts of the village and then cups her hands about her mouth, shouting:
"BOY! FROGS, MAN! FROGS ARE THE BEST DAMN THING IN THE WORLD! FUCK, I'D KILL FOR A FROG, MAN! ANYONE GOT A FROG? ALL RIBBIT RIBBIT AND KREEE-KREEE AND CRAP!"

"Guns… from a rock," Link says, putting his hands on his hips. "That doesn't normally happen. If it was money I could see it, but… not weapons," he notes. Though, maybe this isn't a world where you normally find money and items under rocks. "Where'd the rock come from then?"

(Gate 1-1-ish)
"High charisma? Like a game—?" Cheradenine startles and stops dead, staring and blinking rapidly at Raven. With a slight pull of one of his bangs, he murmurs faintly, "This is definitely one of the stranger corners of the multiverse…" Then he looks back to the outskirts. "So just who are these symbol people anyway?"

"Yeah, the place we're looking for is right outside his first age. So we're going to fly out to our gate, switch to his world, and go from there." Vruasa answers Arerth, /completely failing/ to notice her taking his measurements. He sighs exasperatedly, retrieving his AERODYNAMIC ROCKET SPEAR, recently-upgraded using the item he found in his own loot chest in the ruins. There wasn't enough grist to make a whole lot more of them, so he just upgraded the one that he has right now so it's safer to ride. All it needs now is a kickstand or maybe better steering. Either way, he takes it over to a nearby balcony — placed specifically as a landing and takeoff platform.

Hanging his head a little, the knight climbs onto the rocket spear and waves Arerth over, "Get on, hold onto something, don't you fucking dare get any funny ideas, and never speak of this with /anyone/."

"/Ever./"

This is probably going to be a moot point since Vruasa is not going to try to make a rocket spear /stealthy/.

"Unless you can do that thing you do and just slingshot us there directly." He contemplates aloud. Really, Vruasa doesn't totally understand his fellow player's powers.

"… actually maybe, hold on!!!"

Arerth retrieves her phone again.

Loros regards the arrangement of the towers of Southtown with a inquisitive expression on his face. Another slow exhalation of starshot smoke is exhaled before he lands on one of the several bridges linking the spires together.

Any of the iguanas that come to him to converse are waved off for the moment as he leans against a wall and smokes. While listening faintly.

(Che and Raven)
"Yeah, somethin' like that. We're in a big ol' video game right now, you know," raven says, taking a moment from shouting to look back to Che with a grin, rogue and bright. "I don't understand all of it myself, but it's the best damn game I've played in a while, and I haven't had to kill any /real/ people, and that's definetly a bonus after my last merc job." She says.
And then she turns back, and starts again.
"FROGS ARE THE REAL SHIT! FROG IS THE REAL NAME FOR GOD! WORSHIP YER FROGS EVERY DAY!"

"Ah! Thip thip thip." The Secret Leader makes a weird "thip" noise with his tongue, seeming to express a positive reaction to Lee's statements. "Perfect, perfect, absolutely grand. They've gotten the village in an uproar. So much of an uproar! Thip thip. There was a big debate a few days ago, you see, and things have been tense since then. The Bard of Legend with her Complacency of Lyricism and the Witch of Flight each presented the case of these things and then the Bard tricked the Witch out of the village. It's been quite tense since!" Noticable is the fact that the Secret Leader seems to be ignoring any harm to the population, either already having occurred or potential, but he doesn't seem to be doing so in an ill-meaning manner. "Speaking to the Witch and the Bard would be where you would want to start, probably! Or to the Iguanas they have in their support camps!"

And then, suddenly, lightjet noises! Deelel has arrived outside. "Ah! That was another one who was around here when that debate happened, I remember those things she rides!" He points out the door to where Deelel is landing.

MEANWHILE

Monk Lee will be able to hear the sound of growing activity outside the hut, as if the Iguanas outside are becoming agitated by something.

X really doesn't want to do what he does next. Really. He doesn't. It's not something he makes a habit of. But with a social divide and his own skills with sociability low anyway, he figures the quickest way to trigger a response is to…

His clothing flashes into his armor, the normally-blue plating changed to red and the golden and white areas changed to silver. He holds out his arm, the X Buster reforming in an instant. There's a sound, suddenly, floating through the air.

BrrrrrrrWHEEEEEEE!

"It is clear to me we do not understand one another. Allow me to rectify this." The sound of charging vanishes, and he instead holds his Buster in the air, allowing a flame of Atomic Fire to alight on the barrel. "That rock is dangerous. We are here to stop an operation that has led us here. Leave, or I will make you." He narrows his eyes. Strength is another aspect of being a Maverick Hunter. You have to show them that you show no fear.

X's tactic gets the attention of the group rather effectively. The massive display of power motivates the workers to immediately back up away from their workstations and press against the walls. They seem to not be intending to do anything with the weapons at all, and would really rather just head out and leave the weapons alone forever now, thank you.

With this done, the group is now free to investigate the meteor or the weapons unobstructed, as well as get whatever information they need from the cowering group.

(Che and Raven)
Cheradenine huhs. "Guess the warpgates have gone to stranger places." He tentatively returns her smile. But then suddenly a thought hits him and he looks sideways and then back. "Someone wants a package delivers to someone in a game." It's not really to Raven, nor to himself. Just saying his thoughts aloud.

Che shakes his head unknowlingly, sending his braid swinging "…Guess it's not my place to question but they better be paying in credits." He falls silent and watches Raven shout, content to not embarrass himself at the same time. He hooks his hands in his pockets in the meantime. But the teen does crack a brief smirk.

Deelel is now entering into the leader's home and she calls out "Leader are you here? I was hoping for a chance to talk to you on a few things." She's unaware that the Leader has another guest at the moment or just what his motivations might actually be. She seems friendly enough but she's kinda strange looking really she's for one not /breathing/ if Lee were to pay attention to her save when she's speaking. She does raise an eyebrow at Lee though.

"Who are you I haven't seen you around this region before?"

"Are you chatting with future me again?" Vruasa asks Arerth, grumpily.

(Che and Raven)

It looks like it's getting some attention from the north! Some of the inhabitants of the village have gathered at the southern end and are approaching cautiously. They seem agitated! A lot of them seem supportive, but most seem generally scared of what might be happening soon.

It looks as though Raven and Che have tripped an EVENT! But it looks like the ensuing EVENT may be lengthy and require lots of involved GMing! It will take few minutes to get this actually happening, giving Che and Raven the time to speak a bit more if they like.

"I think I should talk to the Bard first! If they use evil music powers, I'll just take my ears off. Then I'll see the Witch, who, if she attacks, I can handle with Fist of the Witch Slayer." Lee then looks to the entrance when he hears the sound as well. Then Deelel enters. "I'm Monk Lee, the Monkey King, the King of Curry Fruit Mountain, and the Leader of The United Fists of Freedom! And there's stuff happening!"

WIth that, he rushes out, looking around to see what all the noise is outside.

X lowers his Buster, allowing the flame to dissipate. "I am glad we have an understanding," he intones, before moving to study the weapons.

<X, such tactics are not what I had intended with your advanced design,> Dr. Light says. "I know, Doctor. However, while I mean them no harm, and both you and I, as well as our comrades, understand this fact, they do not. And in order to achieve our goal more expeditiously, it was the clear course of action." There's a sigh in X's helmet. "I am sorry, Dr. Light. It is not something I wished to do at all. It is merely a means to an end. And I am still too unversed in social norms to have found a better way." He picks up one of the strange stone weapons, looking behind himself at Adela and Link. "Are either of you familiar with the meteor itself? Or perhaps one of you would be willing to talk to these people. I believe any attempts on my part would result in great amounts of terror." He says this calmly, then returns to studying the gun in his hands. "Dr. Light, Dr. Cain, can you analyze these for me? It may give us some insight to our situation."

Once Lee leaves, he will find that a lot of the inhabitants are heading southward! It seems like they're agitated by something going on to the south/ Some of the group seems hopeful, but most seem agitated and slightly fearful. This seems to be the result of some yelling to the south. Someone is yelling about frogs! Or something. It sounds extremely weird.

"Afraid not. But I would like to know more!" Adela stares at the men as they back off, grinning a little at them and strolling their way. "Where is this rock? Tell me. You have no idea what sort of trouble this is causing."
Deelel says "I noticed I was just not expecting someone new to be here in the sphere."

She watches him rush out as she looks to the leader she'd want to ask her question before she races out to see what's going on here. "Leader I'll need to ask you about the Prospitan cloud seers when I get back! I need to see what's going on out there!"

She'll race out after Lee!

"Yeah," Link agrees with Adela. "Don't worry, I'm an adventurer, I deal with this sort of thing a lot. Unfamiliar weapons and stuff." He tries to be gentler with the serfs, since it doesn't seem like they have malicious intent.

(DIMENSIONS AWAY)

Analyzing the weapons reveals a substantial amount of information, but the sort that will need, perhaps, an ENGINEER ON-SITE for assistance! Oh hey, here's that hook. But there are some initial bits of info that can be gleaned, not the least of which is that these weapons seem to be danmaku-powered through some strange mechanism. It's Gensokyian danmaku, even!

"god no that $eemed totally pointle$ $o I am trying $omething el$e!!!" taptaptap trolling that memo like a boss and getting PB stabbed.

Oh hey there we go. Injurysenses tingling.

Arerth focuses for a moment before a purple-black-ish spiral portal opens up in front of her. Looks like Vruasa won't have to hug Arerth tightly as they romantically travel using his spear just yet!

"there you go!!!"

Destination: pretty much right next to Arthur. Then they just have to find his gate after saying hello! Or, you know, not saying hello because screw that.

One of the serfs points over at the meteor in the room in response to Adela. "There's some kind of broken castle made of metal inside that! These were inside that. We had to bring it out here and then we had to bring them out of it and ship them, that's all! I don't know why you're doing all this, augh! Go look inside on your own if it's that big of a deal!" He says, being yet more translated from that garbled old english and slang.

"Okay awesome." Vruasa says, dismounting the ROCKET SPEAR and replacing it in his sylladex. He wanders right through the provided portal while pondering the potential applications thereof, and in the doing very nearly walks right into Arthur! He manages to stop himself before this happens, but finds himself observing the most likely OBVIOUS STAB WOUNDS with a mixture of surprise and concern. Okay, so he actually likes Arthur enough to give a shit. But that red blood really freaks him the hell out. Who the hell just has red blood? It isn't natural.

"Just… just give him one of your fucking healy things, Arerth." He advises his hate-companion. It would be rule to teleport and not heal, after all.

Noirsprite is probably nearby. Probably looking indifferent.

Arthur is busy nursing his wounds in his house, by which I mean that he's lying on the ground bleeding a bit. "Augh, not at all cool. This is the worst thing actually. Yes, a healy thing would be fantastic, oh my god this is so much pain."

Noirsprite is probably nearby. Probably looking indifferent.

ARTHUR'S HOUSE:

"you are $uch a crybaby okay fine!!!"

Red blood does kind of gross her out too anyway.
"hello PB I am RS nice to meet you etc etc etc"

Arerth produces her HEALING WHIP, which is white with red crosses like a first aid kit on it. This does not seem like a healing tool in the slightest. Oh well.

> Arerth: Give Arthur a vicious flogging.

The troll proceeds to whip Arthur.
It hurts! It also closes wounds.

Meanwhile, Loros, parked on his bridge, has been solicited for, and automatically rejected, at least three "Kill 10 underlings" quests and one "locate arbitrary drop" quest. He's automatically denied these, and at some point the Iguanas have gotten the message. He's now established an AURA OF MYSTERY for those approaching! Oh boy, so mysterious.

"Look you are the goddamn healer, if you don't want that job find a way to change your class but in the meantime just deal with it and… god, that is such a fucking weird way to heal people." Vruasa Telash has gone through enough rough bullshit that being whipped to get healed doesn't bother him. But he's pretty sure squishy humans typically don't deal with getting scourged to get patched up. Oh well. He waves towards Arthur, "Thanks again PB. I guess we're going to go do stuff relevant to making sure your apocalypse clocks don't tick down before we're ready to deal with them??? I dunno yet, but with this game it's always something to do with goddamn apocalypse clocks."

Having complained thoroughly about the APOCALYPSE CLOCKS, the knight retrives his AERODYNAMIC ROCKET SPEAR from his sylladex and once again sets up to blast off out a nearby window.

"Okay," He says to Arerth, "let's try this again. Only with witnesses. God fucking dammit. Just get on with it. I know where the gate is from here, I've been here before."

(Dimensions away)

Meanwhile, the meteor doesn't have any magical properties, per se. It DOES have some properties that may or may not parse as magical. In fact, it looks like it has some sort of residual energy; temporal in nature, Adela will be able to see that exactly four months and eleven days ago in its personal timeline, it was subject to and suffused with a temporal event.

The weapon can be disassembled, but it needs some analysis! The pieces do, anyway.

"A broken castle made of metal, huh?" That's *definitely* worth investigating, Link thinks. "Sounds like some kind of… spaceship maybe? Built into a meteor? Maybe as some sort of spy thing or something. But those are just random ideas…"

"$ure okay!!! take care PB, and keep being awe$ome PB'$ $prite!!!" A sprite that just goes around stabbing people is awesome, after all. She hopes it stays awesome!

Returning the whip into her deck, the troll latches onto Vruasa and snorts at the situation. "it'$ like we are in $ome kind of redrom!!! and you are the da$hing hero hauling around the prince$!!! well except that I hate you!!! and you are not fa$hionable!!! enough"

(DIMENSIONS AWAY)

After the call goes out, one cyborg hard at work in a small office in R&D has dropped more or less everything to hook her arm back on, grab her usual toolkit and come running.
Only to double back at the word 'dragons', grab her combat tool belt and sidearm, and turn back around to go again.
A few minutes later, the sound of an aircar setting down can be heard outside the warehouse in which Link, X and Adela are currently investigating, way out there in the proverbial boonies. Shortly thereafter, the cyborg's distinctive voice more or less fills the warehouse, mostly because Aelin is yelling to make sure she's heard. "Alright, I'm here! Where's the goods? And does anyone have some coffee?"

Arthur doesn't actually start moving again for a while. Wow, that was a lot of pain. Instead he lies in that little puddle of his own blood, either dealing with the pain or trying to puzzle out what just happened or both. "What the hell was that?!"

"Speaking of redrom," Vruasa turns around to look past Arerth. He actually really is uncomfortable with this, but there's more important things going on. "Don't accept that date, PB. Trust me on this one. Bitches who mess with the source code aren't worth getting involved with. And if somehow you freaks with your binary relationships managed to engage in a blackrom relationship that would be even worse. Don't date her. Don't hate-date her. And laugh at whoever's dumb enough to take her up on that offer, because they're going to die horribly sooner or later."

"Anyway I'm going to skip ahead from here so that I don't have to endure any more embarassment." He concludes, and then both Vruasa and Arerth are gone.

======> ARRIVE NEXT TO THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER

Vruasa Telash's AERODYNAMIC ROCKET SPEAR sputters to a stop as the pair of trolls touch down on the bridge that Loros is on. Once their feet are touching the ground he returns the spear to his sylladex and looks around. The only thing around is this weird guy who is just kind of… /there/, looking mysterious and important. He doesn't remember this being in his future. What the fuck is going on here?

"Why are we /here/ and not in the library?" He asks, utterly bewildered for once. They're on-target, but not quite there. Now he's probably going to get shit from Arerth for having poor piloting skills.

"Over here!" Adela exclaims, waving over at Aelin to have him come over to her pile of dismantled parts. Truth be told, she's been examing this pile carefully, with her eyes of blazing Essence, in minute detail.

This, of course, was after blinking harshly at the rock. And rubbing her forehead. "Link. X. That rock is… something unique. Time? .. is that what I'm seeing?"

Loros lifts his head as the 'PCHOOO' of a rocket powered transport fills the air. Pushing his hat back to it's usual jaunty angle, he pulls out another cigarette from his pockets, even as the pair of trolls land. He lights up once more, hands cupped around the end to hide the source of the flame.

"Good. You don't strike me as quest givers."

One hand comes up to hold the cigarette while he exhales a cloud of dense smoke, once more shot through with tiny sparks of light. His free hand gestures dismissively at the Iguanas.

"As for the library and why you're not there… I've been told I should find a library myself."

"you are a$ good a navigator a$ you are fa$hionable!!! which i$ to $ay!!! not!!! at!!! all!!!" Nag nag bitch nag. Arerth keeps Vruasa up to date on what she thinks about him, for a lack of betting things to do on a bridge which is absolutely not a library.

"unle$ human$ $tore their book$ under bridge$ now thi$ i$ totally wrong!!!" Arerth looks around, not quite noticing the MYSTERIOUS STRANGER JUST YET. "hey did you know human troll$ live under bridge$ by the way??? what a retarded place to build a hive!!!" Oh someone is talking. It's not Vruasa either.

"oh damnit now we are being given a que$t to find the library!!! way to go DL!!!" This quest giver LOOKS fashionable at least.

"you are a$ good a navigator a$ you are fa$hionable!!! which i$ to $ay!!! not!!! at!!! all!!!" Nag nag bitch nag. Arerth keeps Vruasa up to date on what she thinks about him, for a lack of betting things to do on a bridge which is absolutely not a library.

"unle$ human$ $tore their book$ under bridge$ now thi$ i$ totally wrong!!!" Arerth looks around, not quite noticing the MYSTERIOUS STRANGER JUST YET. "hey did you know human troll$ live under bridge$ by the way??? what a retarded place to build a hive!!!" Oh someone is talking. It's not Vruasa either.

"oh damnit now we are being given an e$cort que$t to find the library!!! way to go DL!!!" This quest giver LOOKS fashionable at least.

The warehouse in the middle of nowhere is ramshackle, hastily built, made with bits of scrap metal as ad-hoc repairs (the sort you'd find in something much more futuristic) and generally seeming to be like a medieval era building, except decayed, shady, and poorly made. It's also big, like giant compared to most. There are stables and barracks to each side. The main doors are open, with X, Young Link, and Adela all inside. In the interior is more odd metal, seeming to be mangled, futuristic tables. On these are an assortment of apparently prohibition-era guns, each of which seems to feature strange elements. Some parts are made of stone, some of bone, some of metal, and some feature things like inert tentacles of these substances. It's all rather strange! One is disassembled, looking ready for analysis. Along the walls are fearful laborers, apparently having abandoned their workstations here. The room is massive! It needs to be to contain the large meteor that looks like it was dragged here, with the warehouse being built around it.

"Time? That's my kind of thing exactly," Link says with a grin, moving toward the rock. "I've done a lot of going back and forth in time myself, so… maybe I'll be able to tell what's going on here. …Maybe. Time travel is really complicated."

"I don't think all of those idiots are quest-givers, they're just idiots." Vruasa loudly confides in Loros. This might not be condusive to getting help later. He looks around for a moment and then towards Loros himself. He looks /very classy/ and all told while he's wearing more color than the knight usually would, it's not actually so much that it's /garish/. The button-down really isn't his style, though. At least not exactly like that. Whatever, he'll have to think about it later. This guy looks pretty cool either way. Where'd he /come/ from, though?

Then Arerth starts bitching and nagging at him. He looks sidelong at her and fantasizes momentarily about turning the entirety of her hive into moving stairs again. It is a cruel, bloody fantasy that ends with her unconscious and her measuring tape falling down a well. Alas, it is not to be. Eventually he does answer, "Yeah, some moron on the public channels around here was telling me I'm not a real troll because I don't live under a bridge. I got fed up with that chat in about two minutes and threw my computer out a window."

"And I don't think he's a quest-giver, he doesn't look generic enough." The knight points out, tilting his head to one side towards Loros. "The library is on the southwest spire, but I don't have a compass so I guess we'll just have to go looking. Unless one of /you/ have a navigation device to that effect?"

It looks like, alongside the mechanisms originally used to drag this thing here, are some manner of hastily contructed wood steps leading to what looks like an entrance. The holes in the meteor seem to lead into its interior! If Link is so inclined, he can move inside, though it's somewhat cramped in there!

(WAREHOUSE)

Aelin has little to follow at first but the sound of Adela's voice, owing to the size and somewhat confused layout of the place. Of course, then she has pretty much *everything* to follow, which results in pretty much the opposite problem. She ends up getting sidetracked at least once along the way, going over a few of the weird weapons visually, then glancing up at the laborers, then way over to the meteor, then at the CEO, the swordself and the android.
"This is going to be one of those days, isn't it," she mutters to herself, rubbing her face with her artificial hand. But then the cyborg just blows out a sigh, and as much of her trepidation with it as she can, and gets moving.
"Alright, let me take a look here," she says, not even bothering with greetings, as she approaches the disassembled gun. "What's going on? What do I need to know?" Diagnostic and measuring tools are already being hauled out as she speaks.

"No, I'm not a quest giver. Not for you two, at least."

Loros regards the pair of trolls thoughtfully before tipping his hat back a bit more. Then he shifts his weight so he's not leaning against the wall any longer, taking a few steps closer to the pair.

"Well, I don't have a compass on me, but I could…"

He holds out one of his hands, palm up, and begins to murmur softly to himself. Crimson runes flicker to life in his palm, oozing up like blood welling from a wound, for all that there isn't one. The glowing light of them comes apart to become an arrow, spinning slowly about.

"Hmph. No stars. Without a pole star… well."

It appears each mechanical element of the weapons were set such that they were capable of manifesting a limited amount of energy in a variety of forms. They are designed such that they will recieve what amounts to a broadcast from a relatively nearby source keyed to their design, which will expend their energy in a manner dictated by the broadcast. This seems to have applied various effects to various elements of it, and they all widely vary. But while the content is useless to parse out (clearly corresponding to certain strsnge elements on these parts) the source is a bit more difficult; it seems as though these weapons are keyed to accept broadcasts from a specific location in the Empty Space are of the void.

"what do I look like, the $ylph of telling what direction we're headed???" Arerth does not have a compass, and does not even have a compass app on her trollPhone. She makes a note to get one later or something. Or alchemize a compass with something that looks good. Maybe her glasses. That'd be handy.

"okay $o if you're not a que$t giver what do you need at the library??? you are way!!! too!!! fa$hionable to be from around here!!!" Calls them like she sees them! "though your $uit could u$e a $pla$h more purple and le$ black too!!!" For reference she does pronounce the letter s a bit oddly. It's more obvious when she's texting.

After a moment she just throws out: "okay well why don't we ju$t a$k the lizards where the library i$??? I can be very per$ua$ive!!!"

"Hey, um… There's a way inside," Link says, waving towards the others. "I'm gonna go in, okay?" He carefully moves up the steps into the meteor, always being one to like to explore.

The first thing Link will notice is that it initialy looks like a natural cave chamber, and that this is broken up quickly by the presence of what seems to be a large metal door. Various wooden carts are spread around, full of more of the guns, accidentally arranged such that moving them will always involve one blocking the large, futuristic metal door. These seem to have been brought in by the workers and are difficult to get out. Luckily Link is here, specifically suited for all matters pertaining to convoluted, excessively contrived puzzles.

The door is marked by an unusual symbol: http://i.imgur.com/yyMV2.png

"Okay, hang on. Are you a game sprite or something from the outside? You could pass for a dersite if you weren't pretty obviously human. Also, are you saying that you can't figure out where we should be going, or is your creepy magic going to tell us where to go?" Vruasa belts out a few questions towards Loros. The bloodlike rune creeps him out more than usual because it, too, looks like /red/ blood. What is it with these humanoids and their strange singular blood colors? He decides not to ask any more questions, and just starts moving. He waves a hand to indicate the Mysterious Stranger and Arerth both should move along.

But he does add to Arerth, "If you think you can lead us better, Ms. Purplepants, I will follow the leader all fucking day long if you want me to. I don't really give a shit. Though it would be /convenient/ if we had just arrived when and where I had intended us to." The knight's attention turns back towards Loros momentarily, "Hey, somebody else's quest-giver, you going to come, or are you going to go it alone?"

Maybe Vruasa has been doing this time acceleration thing just a bit too much and hasn't quite learned how to properly slow back down again in realtime.

Loros chuckles softly. "Outside. Very much… Outside." You can, in fact, hear the capitalization when he says it.

He dismisses the floating rune with a word, trailing along behind the trolls with an amiable stroll. "As for my creepy magic - it can't tell me where to go because this place has no stars." A hand is waved at the black sky. "And the beings that whispered the suggestions that lead me here don't really operate on a… navigation level. Not of a town, anyhow."

He takes another deep drag on his cigarette and blows a ring of smoke ahead of him.

"As for why I need a library? I like books. And this… realm is interesting."

(WAREHOUSE)
"One of those days indeed." Adela says, rubbing her temples a little after finishing her own studies, but she gestures Aelin towards the crates. "MOstly these things. Where they came from, what they do… any identifying marks… forensics and if we can mke use of them safely, that would also be lovely." Notably, she hoists up one. "I'll be doing some investigations of my own! But two heads working at this is better than one, miss!"

She does, then look at the meteor. "Do you think you can handle it, doctor?"

"I think I could lead u$ better while a$leep!!!" She'll figure out how to use her Weird Space Powers to do that eventually. Maybe. Probably. Until then she'll just alchemize a GPS with a compass and then the result with her glasses. Maybe toss in a ruler and a measuring tape. Make the glasses take measurements for her.
Wow now there's an idea.

As Arerth starts walking towards the multiple spires of Southtown, she idly glances over her shoulder towards Loros. Not that she WANTS to see more creepy red blood magic, but. "$o what doe$ your magic do when it actually work$ be$ide$ look creepy??? you like a$k the $ky que$tion$ and it an$wer$???" It sounds handy. And yet not since it doesn't seem to be working right now.

"hey I have an idea!!!"

Arerth reaches for her phone.

CURRENT royalSubjugglator [RS] began trolling FUTURE royalSubjugglator [RS] (30 MINUTES FROM NOW)

CRS: hey did you find the library yet???
FRS: IT'$ THE $OUTHERN $PIRE YOU A$WIPE!!!
FRS: NOW LEAVE ME ALONE I HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO!!!

FUTURE royalSubjugglator [RS] (30 MINUTES FROM NOW) has blocked CURRENT royalSubjugglator [RS]

Arerth immediatly becomes incredibly angry and frustrated. "WHAT I$ EVEN HER PROBLEM??? WHAT AN A$$HOLE!!!"

DSKFJDF. Fuck her! Yeah she'll teach her. She'll just snap at the next person to bother her. That'll teach them to bother her! God!!!

And these lizards are SO UGLY AND POORLY DRESSED.

(WAREHOUSE)

"Swear to god, I've seen more strange shit since I joined the Elites…" Aelin mutters to herself, her work on the gun parts fast-paced and practiced. In spite of her grousing, it's obvious the problem before her is interesting enough to keep her working. "Oh god, please call me Aelin. Or Taurus if you have to be formal. 'Doctor' makes my skin crawl."
After a few minutes of analysis, Aelin takes a step back, and calls up data she's collected, analyzing with a keen eye. "Well, I don't know what the hell kind of readings I'm getting in terms of energy, because I've never seen anything like half this shit. But it looks like they're designed to take orders on how to expend some kind of energy or other from a specific source, like running a terminal's operating system off a server or something. I'm not sure if this is some kind of QEC or reality twist or something, but…"
She taps at the holographic display her wrist bracer emits, plugging in numbers and running a few quick calculations and formulae.
Tap-beep. "If I'm reading these USST coordinates right, the source is out in the Void. The big empty chunk of it. I think I've got some pretty specific coordinates here."
She eyes the weapons. "If you want to chance using the things, go right ahead. I don't *think* they'll blow up, but I can't regrow limbs, so I'll pass. This mean anything to you?" She calls up a blown-up image of the symbol in Arthur's link. "Maker's mark or something?"

Link looks over the situation inside and frowns. "…Here we go again," he says. After some thought, he starts putting all his strength into pulling the carts around to clear the way to the door. It might require him to block out the entrance for a time but he tries to keep the whole path open. It's a good thing the floor's not frozen or this would be even more annoying, he thinks.

"Shows the way. Changes my shape. Blows up people who annoy me."

Loros shrugs a bit. "It's versatile stuff, if you've had as many years as I have to work on it."

He regards the exchange with the phone with a slightly raised eyebrow. Shaking his head, he adds, "Or I can do -this-."

And with a snap of his fingers, his suit is now purple with black pinstripes instead of the other way around. The tie hasn't changed though.

(WAREHOUSE) "Besides reminding me vaguely of a swastika, not particularly, Aelin." Adela answers with a frown. She'd seen it during her own disassembly… "… coordinates… out in the void? Now there's something I had missed." But then, she has never done anything with multiversal coordinates to this level before. "… We should mount an expedition to there, after this. But for now… I don't feel right sending a child into a dangerous meteor alone! Thank you! Care to help with this investigation further?"

Grinning At Aelin, Adela about-faces from her, twirls her purloined weapon, and marches for the way into the meteor.

(WAREHOUSE)

Aelin eyes the meteor for a moment, then Adela. After a moment, she lets out another sigh. "What the hell, why not. The alternative's paperwork." Shortly after Adela heads for the meteor, so does Aelin, carefully drawing a sidearm from her shoulder holster so that she won't be unarmed in the event of surprises.

Link's puzzlesolving history is put to good use and finds are careful arrangement of the various caets. To the new arrivals, it looks as though a block puzzle has been solved! Assuming they have any idea what a block puzzle is. There's a futuristic-looking metal door in the natural cave entrance marked with a strange spirographic symbol that a path has been opened to now.

"i$ that fa$hion magic???" IS IT? That may yet make up for the extraordinarily crappy last fifteen seconds or so. "that i$ the $ingle greate$t thing I have $een a human do $o far!!! I $imply must applaud your royal choice of color$!!!" It's hard to say if she'd react any different if she knew this guy is a big Confederate honcho; given that she dislikes the superfactions on principle of having blown up her planet. Then again, she's been getting over it due to Vruasa's insistance to find a more direct culprit to blame.

"okay let'$ think!!!"

Turning her attention away from the now 100% more fashionable Wizard, Arerth looks around for a lizard or maybe two or five of them.

> Arerth: Politely ask for directions.

Arerth proceeds to crack her standard black whip in the lizard(s)'s direction, bellowing the simple question: "where i$ the library!!!"

(WAREHOUSE)

And then they stepped onto the set of a video game.
Aelin just sort of stares for a moment at the solved puzzle, then eyes link for a moment. "Uh… good work, there, kiddo," she offers awkwardly, then turns to Adela. "What did he need us for, again?"

The Iguanas respond to the whipping with agitated thips and general helplessness. One, mid-whipping, attempts to give Arerth a quest to go kill ten imps. One of them can eventually be coerced into saying "Augh thip thip it's over there, on the southwest spire! Thip thip thip just go to the temple spire and two turns clockwise thip thip thip." It seems to be doing its best to flee.

Link leans on one of the carts. "Well, now that we're all here… we could go through that door," he says. "I mean, that's what it's there for." Doors. They're for going through.

(METEOR)
"So they are!" Adela blinks pretty amazedly at this strange, STRANGE room they've gotten themselves into. She does, however grin after about ten secondes of examining it. It's a terrifying sort of grin, the kind that seems to be full of teeth that would devour EVERYTHING rapaciously if only they could get nomming on the subject at hand. All the while, she pinches the left side of her glasses and adjusts them a little "Puzzles. I LOVE puzzles."

She turns to Aelin, with that look on her face still, and says, "To be honest, I have little desire to go back and do the paperwork yet either."

"I doubt it, but if you figure out a way to do it, I won't complain." Vruasa answers Arerth, concerning SLEEPWALKING LEADERSHIP. Knowing this place some bizarre shenanigans will make it possible and he'll have to deal with her gloating when it actually goes down. Ugh. At least he can't look forward to see /that/ sort of thing. It simply isn't close enough in the future to be detectable on the timeline. Also, only tangentially related to keeping his own timeline intact, so he can't really puzzle it out too readily. Maybe later, though.

The knight buries his face in his hands when his companion pulls out her trollPhone and starts bugging him in the future. Or so he assumes, until she starts complaining about a girl. Then he realizes what just happened and pretty much resorts to pointing and laughing at Arerth. That is a pretty good way for your own bullshit to bite you in the ass. It's going to happen to him someday, he knows it.

Loros catches his attention with his suit-changing antics. That's /really/ new. Though… why that color?

"That is a pretty awesome ability. Usually we have to spend grist to do something like that. Or somebody else has to for us." He frowns a little, poking at the brim of the hat that Arerth gave him. Hatgirl also gave him a hat, but he keeps forgetting to wear it. Also, he still needs to put horn holes in it.

They make headwear somewhat obnoxious to deal with. Fortunately.

Inbetween conversations, Vruasa momentarily vanishes. He returns a moment later with his spear in hand and turns in Arerth's quest to kill ten imps, because it might actually yield something useful even if the likelihood is small. Also, it gives him an excuse not to have been there for a few minutes.

"So if you're from outside, what's so interesting about this place to you? Dodging this shit seems like a pretty good… deal… to…?" It's possible that Loros is no longer there.

It looks automatic! Or it looks like the two metal panels would normally be automatic. They actually have to be forced open manually, because whatever's supposed to be powering them isn't. They slowly close, but can always be forced open again. The interior is cramped, designed like one would design a submarine. The metal tiles floor is shattered in several places, the walls are somewhat crumpled, the brushed steel make of them displaying a lot of damage, and it looks in general like the place, well, fell out of the sky! It's a pretty damaged look. Thankfully, it not being very large means Link doesn't have to do more dungeon navigation. There's only one room here.

It's very clearly an armory.

It's been clumsily scavenged from. Portions of it are left alone out of sheer confusion; a whole section of it seems to be devoted to yet more mobster-cliche weapons styled with yet more strange elements. A tentacled crowvar sits next to a baseball bat made out of bone. Several bombs are here, with cliche fuses sticking out of them (the astute would notice they're Minecraft-native TNT). It looks like part of a massive war effort. It also looks like it was only half-full when it fell out of the sky in the first place.

There's a server, toppled and smashed by the impact of the meteor, between the rows, with an interface that can't parse the lacking data. Near the back is what looks like a pedestal with a control panel next to it. Both are unlit, though.

(WAREHOUSE)

When it comes to muscle power, Aelin's got a slightly unfair advantage in the form of a cybernetic arm. She's more than glad to pitch in for opening the thing, and then it's a few moments of dumbstruck staring. "Whaaaaat the helllll…"
Next on the menu: A toppled server.
Aelin heads for the huge hunk of technology at once. "Oh shit, you poor thing. The hell did they do to you? These people have no clue how to bolt their servers down or something?" She'll do her best to examine the thing, both for type of technology, and for extent of damage.

It takes a while to analyze the server, with no maker's marks and what seems to be a completely unique design, but directly accessing it will find, among the garbled remaining data, "VeilNet ver 4.12, (c) Skaianet Software 2009". This is at the very least a lead on the type of technology. As for the extent of the damage, it doesn't look like more than simply falling over and smashing; unfortunately, it seems to have mangled the data beyond repair. Someone with a more abstracted repair mechanism could probably bypass this limit more easily, though.

"Yeah… I have no idea what's going on in here," Link comments, looking around. There's a lot more of those weird weapons, and… a computer of some kind. Aelin looks like he has that under control at least. Link heads to the control panel, seeing if there's any clue to what it does. Judging by the fact that the doors wouldn't open, there's probably no power, but maybe he'd get an idea of what's going on.

(WAREHOUSE)

"VeilNet 4.12… the hell is that… never heard of a Skaianet…" It seems that muttering to herself is a hallmark of Aelin's working style. After some moments more of examination, Aelin stands up, wiping her forehead with the back of her organic hand absently. "Well, this thing's pretty much toast. Unless someone's got some sort of 'turn back time for a computer server' trick. But whatever the hell VeilNet and Skaianet Software are, that's a start." She looks in Link's direction, then heads over there. "What you got there?"

Trailing after Aelin in her wake, Adela stops by the fallen server and regards it a bit differently. "Veilnet? Skaia? Odd names… I wonder…" She taps a cheek thoughtfully… then smiles knowingly, confidently, at the ruin. She'll leave the control panel and the door to the other two for now.

For now, Adela merely stretches out her hands and gestures— and the air warps and crackles with an uncanny light.

Embers of white fire erupt about her body, burning brightly but not quite such that she's yety uncomfortable to look at, while the eight circle-bound rays of light Caste Mark of the Sovereigns blazes on her forehead.

Tools form in her hands out of solid lumps of metal from thin air and begin falling to the floor around her with clunks and thunks. Screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes, chisels, and other simple instruments like pliers and tweezers with few if any moving parts.

Armed with these obviously inferior tools, she sets at the smashed parts with her body aglow with Essence and fingers flying to affect things on a level too small to even normally perceive Slowly, she's reassembling the machine's delicate electronics.

The mechanism that Link and Aelin seem to be poking at now is inert; a lack of power is remarkably notable, but further examinations will clearly indicate it as some sort of teleportation mechanism. It seems to only be compatible with its own type of teleportation mechanism, at least based on initial examinations. It also doesn't seem too heavily damaged, by Link's assessment and by Aelin's; if they can get it powered and maybe tuned up a bit, it might be something they can use.

"Wow… look at her go," Link says, watching Adela work on the computer. "Do you think you can get everything working? This thing over here is some kind of teleporter… maybe it leads to where this stuff came from."

A more abstracted repair is a success, of sorts. The interface lights up briefly.

STOP: 0x00000412 (0x8000613, 0x8040113, 533d7d59, 2e257322, 4362483b)

Unhandled Kernel exception error code 1000008e, parameter1 80000004, parameter2 806ecae1, parameter3 f76c664c, parameter4 00000000.

#-1 VeilNet expected RECKONING but got SKAIA

Ejecting core system manifestation engine

797d5424 - System
5b5c414c - Logs
452d4a4d - Programs
7e55593a - Weapons
21267674 - Vehicles
5e305b55 - Soldiers
35504343 - Facilities
326a347e - Supply
61382059 - RECKONING

Press any key to load restored VeilNet (c) Great Maker Software 2009

After all that ruckus of beeping and booping that the computer goes through, and after dealing with a few error screens, Adela can begin using the interface, which seems to be operating under its own power, to search though what appears to be a database of the location, as well as several hundred others. They seem to be referred to as "Veil Stations".

(WAREHOUSE)

"I'd rather not look at her go," the cyborg replies, brow wrinkled. "Every time I watch one of those people break physics over their knee it makes my inner engineer cry."
Aelin is already hard at work analyzing the telporter pad and its controls, muttering to herself and occasionally swearing. Finally, she just shifts her position and flumps down on the ground, sitting cross-legged. "Nonstandard power requirements, proprietary operating software, tech that operates on principles I've never dealt with before…"
She reaches for her belt, where she taps a button on a small container. "Give me ten minutes. I brought some drones I can cannibalize. Just need the batteries and an interface to modulate the power flow properly."

Adela lets out an EXTREMELY uncharacteristic and girlish squeal of triumph. The noise is so utterly ALIEN for her usual demeanor that those who know her well might seriously wonder. It's hard to say if anyone here really knows her well however!

But she does tap a key with the most childish smile plastered all over her face.

"Would you look at that! It's working." She kicks most of her tools to the side now, and stands at the console, tapping away to do her investigations. She's curious about every relevant thing of course…

"Veil Stations. Does the term mean anything to either of you two?" The Titanic Exalt peers especially ard at Aelin, questioningly.

(WAREHOUSE)

"Doesn't ring a bell," Aelin replies, already hard at work on her own little project. "Maybe something to do with the VeilNet thing?"

After a brief montage of autocthonian shenanigans and a brief montage of jury-rigging shenanigans, with one machine repaired and the other now powered, the rest of the facility seems a little dark in comparison to the glowing interface and the teleporter. Adela's perusal of the various Veil Stations and the stats about them seem to reveal that there's enough weaponry, vehicular power, and soldiers being produced and processed at these other "Veil Stations" that it's possible to mount full-scale war. Also of note is the mention of Light and Dar designations of certain products of each station; oddly, there's no separation, with each station producing for each shade.

Elsewhere in the same cramped space, efforts to power the teleporter will work, at least for some time. It looks as though it's already teleported the dirt and grime caked onto the pedistal away!


Log Notes: The library portion of this scene never happened because one of us had to go early, and we never followed it up.

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