Session 74

Various cold-weather vegetable appetizers come out first, then the main dish - a hearty fish stew, the scent of which precedes it.
Skel and Snu, sitting opposite one another at one end of one of the benches, held places open for the party to sit next to them.
[OOC] Max Thorn: not gonna lie, I read that as 'stench' at first. :P
Tim and Sands have been mostly absent from the conversation, helping the serving staff and eating with gusto in between course servings.
Esme plops down, warily eyeing the stew.
[OOC] WC GM: It is fish. That's somewhat unavoidable. But this isn't the stink of rotten fish.
No eyeballs eye Esme back. It is mostly beige colored, most notably broken by chunks of orange carrots and yellow-white potatoes, with various bits of green.
[OOC] Max Thorn: I know. :p
Esme's nose certainly suggests the stew is edible.
Max Thorn 's attention is divided between the food and sociological interest in the society here…though he's not so gauche as to have his 'dex out and taking notes on it, at least.
Esme scoops mostly veggies to her plate. It's /probably/ fine, but her and seafood have rarely mixed well.
Linnea just takes some of everything. She's damned hungry.
Tim's voraciousness is, for this meal, eclipsed by Linnea's.
Linnea nods appreciatively to everyone all around, because it's rude to talk with your mouth full.
After finishing her stew portion, Skel leans back and pats her belly. "Ahh…good food, good company…if I didn't have my work, I'd never leave this town!"
Snu: "Miss you we do. But do not forget, important work you have!"
Skel: "Speaking of important work, don't you think you should do something about those barbarians? How many attacks has that been this month alone?"
Snu sighs. "Yes. More powerful." Snu looks to the party. "You seem recognize their power?"
Esme: "Oh yeah! What was up with those Glalies?"
Max Thorn: "Yup. My question is, how were they able to manage it? Mega-evolution requires input from a human, normally."
Linnea: "They were like…beast mode."
Max Thorn: "And I didn't see anyone, human or pokemon, with a Mega-stone empowering the glalies."
Snu: "Tell us. What is mega-evolution? How work?"
Linnea: "With a certain stone and a large amount of powerful emotional energy, certain pokemon can change their form into something more powerful."
Linnea: "My companion Gardevoir and Absol are two of such that have a known Mega Evolution."
Max Thorn: "Fundamentally, it's a temporary form of evolution which utilizes two components. One is interchangeable; an accessory which the human partner holds. The other is a species-specific stone which must be held by the pokemon. We're still learning about them, but not all final-stage pokemon have ones that we've been able to identify."
Max Thorn: "My understanding, however, is that the Mega evolution requires intense anger on the pokemon's part in addition to a strong bond between human and pokemon."
Snu: "Species-specific stone. Scouts say glalies acquire new decoration, months ago. Thought just accessory, worn as bond of brotherhood. Might be more."
Linnea: "Wait. They both had one?"
Snu: "Anger, they have."
Snu: "Ya. Identical."
Linnea: "Could it be that they fueled each others' evolution?"
Max Thorn: "Not unless they both also had Mega stones on them, they couldn't."
Max Thorn: "I didn't get a close look, though, so it's /possible/…"
Esme: "If they were identical, they were both probably the -cite they needed. Probably."
Esme: "Maybe the Frosslass had something? Was hard to pay attention when things were flying everywhere."
Snu: "If could make them stop attacking, would be best. But attacks only step up after they pick up stones. Maybe just removing stones suffice?"
Max Thorn: "If we can retrieve an example of the accessory in question, I could learn more. Particularly if I can talk with my professors back home."
Max Thorn: "What I…what /we/ need, though, is to identify their leader so we can talk to…whoever it turns out to be."
Snu: "Leader not hard identify. Those two glalies and that froslass. Biggest pokemon in pack."
Esme: "Oho~"
Snu: "They move around, but camp should not be too hard find. Just use flying pokemon, look from high up. There not much cover hide behind here, and anything nonwhite stand out against snow!"
Max Thorn: "Sam's the one with flying partners… Though, if there's a cold-adapted flyer here…?"
Snu: "Ya. Probably best infiltrate with small party, and you seem experienced. So! Propose that town find camp in morning, then you deal with? Will reward, of course."
Esme: "Alexis should be fine. Steel doesn't mind Ice!"
Linnea cracks her knuckles. "Rock smashes through ice just fine."
Max Thorn: "My thought was mainly that scouting could happen overnight, so that we could proceed with confidence in the morning."
Snu laughs. "Even I know better leave town at night! There cold, and then there outside at night cold!"
Esme: "Low visibility, too."
Snu: "No, no, wait for dawn. Maybe wait half or full hour after dawn, let air warm up. Then scout."
Max Thorn: "True."
Max Thorn: "So…are the buildings here connected underground, or are we sleeping here tonight?"
Snu eyes Max for a moment. "You grow up in snow? Not many not familiar living here guess that."
Snu: "Even barbarians figure out to tunnel. Much of camp made from snow and ice packed to retain heat."
Max Thorn: "Nope, but it only makes sense, right? If you need to move around at night and it's too cold, you have to have a solution. Either have fire Pokémon in residence, or go underground."
Skel points to some wooden trap doors in the corners. "The biggest problem is how to keep folkk from putting stuff on them. Honestly, I almost think it'd be better to leave them open."
Max Thorn: "Do proper stairwells with doors, then."
Snu: "…not bad idea."
Esme: "Innovation!"
Skel: "There's a guest house I'm supposed to use while I'm here…" She blushes and glances at Snu, then points to one of the trap doors. "…but you can use it. It's right next door, just take that tunnel."
Esme: "You sure?"
Skel: "I am quite certain that I will not actually be there until dawn, when I come to fetch you." She is blushing a little more, eyes firmly on her plate.
Esme: "That's fair!"
Snu: "So. Enjoy rest of night! Will call you when time to go."
Snu: "Skel. Still need dance tonight. What say we leave friends talk with rest of town now?"
Before Skel can respond, Snu scoops her up as a local band with improvised instruments sets up at the far side of the feast hall.
…it is technically music, and their "dance" seems to consist mostly of Snu tossing Skel up and catching her as she engages in various aerobatics that can almost be described as "digging through the air" . But they seem to be enjoying it.
Linnea: "They've got spirit, for sure."
A few of the other townsfolk join them, with less energetic but apparently no less joyful dances.
Even Sands eventually pulls Tim in for a bit of dancing, though more "synchronized dancing to show off bond" than anything else.
[OOC] WC GM: What does the party do? Mill around and talk to folk, join in, go to bed, or…?
Linnea is going to head to bed and pass out in a food coma. :V
Esme yawns, deciding to follow Linnea and check out the lodging.
It is a simple stone house - stone brick, it appears, on close inspection. The stone must have been chosen for its insulative properties, as the walls are not as cold to the touch as one might expect; still, the beds are located toward the center. The layout is practically a studio apartment, though it seems unlikely that any of the locals think of it that way.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Max will stick around for a while, but I have food inbound.
[OOC] WC GM: NP. Doing anything, or should I advance to morning?
[OOC] Esme: Zzz
Linnea lets out a little groan, and flops into the bed. "Ate too much… bleeehhhh…"
[OOC] WC GM: Morning it is, then.
Dawn has barely arrived by the time Skel taps her bone club on the still-open trap door in the corner. Tim and Sands are curled up halfway from door to bed, having apparently collapsed and made a night of it there when they finally came in.
Linnea mumbles something about peach cobbler as she rolls out of bed and onto her feet.
A tasty scent enters the room behind Skel. "Morning. I brought some…"
Skel turns her head so it is impossible to see if she blinks, but then lugs a food cart remarkably similar to those seem in pokemon centers into the house-partment. "Yes, how did you guess?"
Linnea: "I'm -magical-."
Linnea streeeeeeetches, letting out an enormous yawn. "Oh, man… that was good."
Skel: "They just got a shipment of peaches a few days ago." She pushes the cart just short of Tim, then gets out some grey stone plates and forks, and begins serving up.
Linnea takes far more sensible portions this time. An army might march on its stomach, but eating enough to roll instead is inadvisable.
Esme shakes off her sleep, rubbing her eyes. "Cobbler?"
Linnea: "Cobbler! It's delicious."
Sam Spade: "It is."
Max Thorn consumes his portion while he transfers his mental notes to his 'dex.
Skel: "The air will be warm enough to fly in, in about 30 minutes. Did you want to join the scouts, or rest up for the raid?"
Linnea: "I think we should go with the scouts in case they get ambushed."
Max Thorn: "Sounds good to me."
Esme: "Guess we're getting an early start as always…"
Skel: "They'll be assembling at the south end of town." With the cobbler all distributed - even Tim and Sands have somehow had some, judging by the plate with crumbs near them despite them being in the exact same place and pose - she takes the plates and forks back, then pushes the tray out.
Skel: "I think Snu wanted to rally some backup, in case you got into trouble. I need to help him remind them to stay back, out of sight."
Sam Spade: "Alright. Let's…go…back into the cold…"
Sam Spade hesitates, but shrugs and wraps her jacket tighter around herself.
Linnea lets out a puff of breath, and starts getting ready.
The moment the street-level door opens, biting cold rushes into the room!
Fortunately, it only feels like an ice/ghost type has suddenly invaded.
Linnea: "Hurrrrrgh."
Esme shudders, digging through her bag to trade out her Fire Plate for an Ice Pla-wait a minute.
Esme: "Hrm."
Max Thorn is sticking close to Amaterasu…
Sam Spade is wearing Chicklet like a furry Fire-type backpack. Chicklet seems to like it.
Snow is piled up in corners, but the street is mostly clear. Already at the south end - the point furthest from the harbor - a squad of delibirds is gathering.
Sam Spade: "Excuse me? We're the visitors. We were asked to help you guys out?"
Delibird: "Heads up! The sages are here."
Sam Spade: "Just in case something comes up. We've learned some fighting tricks from Ignacia."
Linnea: "Correct."
The Delibirds form into a line and snap off crisp, synchronous salutes, then echo, "Welcome Amodan sages SIRS!"
Sam Spade blinks
Linnea: "That's uncanny."
Sam Spade: "We're hardly sages! Just young travelers, learning about the world."
Esme: "Sage might be /bit/ much."
Linnea: "Apprentice sages."
There are five in total. The central delibird steps forward. "We are dee-lighted to have your assistance! We were informed that you know the nature of what has empowered the barbarians. That makes you sages."
Linnea: "I suppose there is a grain of truth to that."
Max Thorn: "Singular. I'm the professor in training here…"
Lead Delibird: "My comrades and I have been keeping track of the threat, and it will be our honor to locate them for you today." He eyes Malta. "Will you be flying with us?"
Max Thorn: "But, eh. Let's get down to business."
Malta: "Talon!"
Malta flaps her wings, shaking them into place.
Linnea: "That's right."
Max Thorn: "You going up with Malta, Sam?"
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Lead Delibird: "There are three sites that they frequent. We never travel alone - not after they began trying to shoot us out of the sky. One scout looking broadly, one wingbird on anti-projectile defense. One of our number was injured yesterday; unfortunately, that meant our briefing was delayed - with consequences you saw."
Lead Delibird: "If you are scouting with us, I will PERSONALLY escort you to make up for our failure yesterday."
Sam Spade: "Thank you."
Lead Delibird: "My squadmates will split up to take the other two likely campsites."
Lead Delibird: "Let's get to it, then." He turns and faces the other, one wing raised. "Team Deli-light!"
Other Delibirds In Chorus: "TAKE FIGHT!"
Max Thorn: "Well. I have no wings… Do you have friends willing to give me a lift, or alternate transportation available?"
Linnea: "Yeah, uh…"
Esme: "Ooh! Have fun up there Sam."
Esme: "'Lexi's not really suited to carrying anyone…"
The four other delibirds take off, splitting in two directions.
The lead delibird turns back. "Those of you who can not fly, get some hoverscooters and get ready to move out. This will probably not take long."
Max Thorn: "Works. See you there, then."
Sam Spade climbs on Malta's back and Malta tests her wings.
Max Thorn: Max heads over to the hoverscooter shed and checks one out.
Lead Delibird: "I will lead the way. Do you know how to shoot down incoming?"
Linnea makes ready to scoot!
Esme starts towards the scooter shed… but turns to hop on Gervais' back, the Nidoking startling up. "Gervy has been lazing around with all the sea-travel." She playfully tugs at one of his ears. "You're getting more of a workout today, mon chou!"
Max Thorn: "Depends. I have firearms, and Amaterasu here has some really hot breath."
Linnea: "I got some pretty fancy beam magic, the Absol has stone blades."
Gervais puffs out, and stretches. "King, king." Guess he figures he's due for a run as well.
Esme: "Gervy can throw rocks or throw spines, and I have… well a few options."
Malta: "Flame."
Lead Delibird: "…I meant your flying friend, but…if you can cover us from the ground…"
Max Thorn: "I'll do my part, yes."
Lead Delibird: "Let's try it. We'll slow down so you can follow. Keep your eyes peeled for anything coming at us. Fortunately, that'll be the signal: if that does happen, you'll know where their camp is."
Sam Spade: "That…would make things easy, I suppose."
The lead delibird takes off, heading southeast.
Malta follows, Sam on her back.
Several minutes go by as the horizon drops away - as expected; the barbarians would not camp close to town.
Tim, on his own hoverscooter, looks up at Sam, Malta, and the delibird. "Just like when I was sneaking out of Dojji, but colder."
[OOC] Max Thorn: Now back home.
Malta is easily keeping pace with the Delibird.
[OOC] WC GM: Perception check, all.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 15 (3 2 1 6 3) (Perception)
Esme rolled up 2d6+1: 8 (4 3) (See a What)
Max Thorn rolled up 4d6: 14 (3 1 6 4) (Perception)
Linnea rolled up 3d6: 6 (1 4 1) (Perception)
More boring white, plain snow plainsINCOMING! Sam sees the ice boulder barely in time to dodge. Max sees it as it nearly clips Malta.
Sam Spade: "THERE!"
Esme and Linnea do not see it until it is at the top of its arc and beginning to fall in their direction.
Malta dives, eyes sharp and watching for prey- rather, defenders.
Max Thorn: "Heads up, Ammy."
Linnea: "What?!"
Lead Delibird: "Camp spotted!" He points with a wing - momentarily, disrupting his flight for about 50 meters of descent - to two glalies and a froslass hunkered around a rock outcropping. Their minions are nowhere in sight.
Esme: "Oh."
Those on the ground see the delibird point - to somewhere beyond their horizon. Fortunately, that means they are not spotted yet either.
But the ice boulder is still falling their way.
Amaterasu looks up, then blasts the boulder with a Flamethrower!
Amaterasu rolled up 1d20: 20 (20)
Esme whistles, and Gervais attempts to strafe to the left out of the way!
[OOC] Esme: Aaayyyy
[OOC] Max Thorn: Oh, yeah, gimme a crit on a roll where that doesn't even matter. Thanks, Chessa.
The boulder is vaporized!
Lead Delibird: "We're spotted, but your friends below aren't. What's the plan?"
Max Thorn: "Good girl!"
Sam Spade: "Pass the word, or go in?"
Malta tosses an Ember in the direction of the camp, but circles away.
Lead Delibird: "Your friends have seen it by now. I'm thinking, dive down and rejoin them, or distract the barbarians to let your friends sneak up."
Sam Spade: "…I think rejoin them for now."
Lead Delibird: "Roger!" He salutes, and in so doing, drops out of the sky - resuming flight at a dangerously low nap-of-earth altitude.
Malta doesn't follow; instead, she just circles higher and higher, heads back the way they came, and then dives at Amaterasu like she's sighted a particularly tasty treat.
Fortunately, this gives Max ample warning of said second incoming.
Max Thorn looks up, then revs the engine, looping around instead of racing toward the camp.
Malta pulls up *just* in time to not crash into the ground and lands lightly on her talons. Sam stumbles off and falls to her knees, grabbing onto the snow like it's something precious.
Chicklet giggles.
Linnea: "Sheesh…"
Esme: "Ah! You alright?"
Max Thorn: "I just hope that didn't alert the camp."
Max Thorn: "You okay, Sam?"
Max Thorn: "Or is Malta gonna be dinner tonight?" he deadpans.
Sam Spade: "I- I-"
Malta: "Flame?"
Malta preens Sam a bit.
Linnea: "Sam…?"
Sam Spade: "…Well it was an experience, I will say that."
Linnea: "Are you gonna be okay?"
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Malta hugs Sam, who stands shakily.
Linnea: "Good, I'm glad."
Sam Spade: "….Just gotta be ready next time…."
Max Thorn pulls up by Sam. "Want a non-living ride for now, or will you be fine with Malta shortly?"
The lead delibird loops around the group to bleed off speed, then pulls up, lands, and salutes. "Barbarian leaders found, SIRS! They appear to be on their own. What is the plan of attack?"
Max Thorn: "If we can manage it, I'd like to encircle 'em."
Linnea: "Wait, why are they alone?"
Linnea: "Where's everyone else?"
Max Thorn: "That…is an excellent question. It could be an ambush."
Sam Spade: "Or they could have split their forces?"
Sam Spade: "….Or they don't want their people to see them get punked again."
Max Thorn: "Regardless, caution is warranted."
Linnea: "Or the others are out raising hell because they know the leaders are a big target."
Esme: "Hrm…"
Sam Spade: "I suppose there's no way for us to know the answer before we punch them in the face, though."
Esme: "Well /someone/ will have the element of surprise."
Max Thorn: "Just so long as it's not /us/…"
Max Thorn: "…being surprised, I mean."
[OOC] WC GM: So - what do you do?
[OOC] Linnea: Have some of the party approach normally, and have the others drop in? Flank them?
Max Thorn: "Anyway, let's proceed cautiously, flank 'em quietly."
[OOC] WC GM: Who's doing what part?
[OOC] Linnea: I'll be in the approach party.
Esme: "I'll head in from the front!"
Linnea: "I'll go with you."
Sam Spade: "Alright. I'll be behind them. Once my heart starts beating again."
Sam Spade climbs on Malta, who takes to the skies.
Max Thorn: "Could you send Alexi out with Sam, Esme?"
Max Thorn: "If the rest of us are going in conventionally, she needs backup."
[OOC] WC GM: Esme and Linnea in front, Max and Sam circling behind? Got it.
[OOC] WC GM: Or is Max in front too?
[OOC] Max Thorn: I have zero wings, all your back attack are not belong to us. :P
Esme peeks over her shoulder to Alexis, who's been trailing along behind. "Sure, though once we get in a fight, dunno if I can handle both her and Gerv, here."
Max Thorn: "I don't expect /active/ participation, just someone to watch her six."
It takes a few more minutes to get close and set up. But the delibird leads Sam through low-level flying - made easier by the local flat terrain - and then it is time to charge…
…that conspicuous-looking mound of snow where the froslass and glalies were.
Max Thorn: "…I have a bad feeling about this."
Linnea: "Okay, this is certainly a ruse."
Linnea: "Ah well, nothing for it, right?"
Esme: "I have half a mind to burn a cleanse tag…"

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