Session 81

It takes a couple hours for the train to wind its way through the hills, past a large lake, and finally to a giant plateau upon which rests…the first thing the party sees is the obviously-statue "cloud wall" carved out of rock that surrounds the compound.
Linnea: "That's pretty damn impressive."
Then the train finishes coming around a corner, allowing a straight view through the arched gateway the tracks lead in through.
Sam Spade: "Amazing."
It is a "temple" in the manner that a cathedral, central point of worship for a region-wide-and-then-some faith, is a "shrine" .
Esme: "…an understatement, I see."
"Pagoda" might be a better term: a 5-story tower, each floor clearly marked by an awning, with attached one and two story auxiliary buildings. Human-sized statues of various major legendary pokemon lazily glide around the top three floors, suspended by cables and gibbets circling around the awnings; Melo-Skitty stares at her own representation on the lowest tier, regal and majestic frozen in the middle of playing a harp, and blushes slightly.
Max Thorn looks lost in thought, but he's too polite to verbalize 'em. Esme and Sam recognize the look, though; he's wondering if there are any species unique to the location.
Linnea bows her head respectfully.
As the temple comes into sight of the party, the train comes into sight of the temple. A number of pokemon lying around the courtyard point and begin moving about.
Ho-Oh and Lugia statues encircle the top tier of the pagoda alone, though the roof contains representations of other major legendaries, with Arceus naturally at the very top.
Esme shivers, and slaps her cheeks. "Oof."
Linnea: "Wrrr! There's a lot of energy here…"
Esme: "It's… expected, but still catches you off guard."
Max Thorn: "I'd be surprised if there weren't. This place is centuries old, perhaps even over a millennium."
At length, the train pulls up to the station - one of the outermost buildings - and the three container cars making up all of the train save the engine car (where the party rode) almost immediately drop their sides to provide ramps. Small swarms of locals roll on up to grab the food and supplies therein.
The volbeat gets two and a half steps out of the engine car before an illumise tackles him to the ground and hugs fiercely, sobbing and babbling into his chest.
Said volbeat smiles and pats his apparent wife, murmuring reassurances.
Linnea: "Oh jeez, what happened?"
Sam Spade: "The train was delayed long enough they were running out of supplies."
Max Thorn: "What she said."
Sam Spade: "Not sure why their reserves were so low, though."
Esme: "Lots of transportation issues between these islands in general, no?"
Sam Spade: "Or why they weren't able to send supplies using some other means."
Sam Spade: "Yeah. Honestly…kinda odd here, but…"
Linnea: "They need some real mechanics here…"
Max Thorn: "Tech embargo, I think. Whoever set that up has some questions to answer."
Sam Spade: "That doesn't explain the railroad, though. I mean…either they bought a train engine whole and plopped it down, or they developed it."
Sam Spade: "I mean, yeah, they have a hate-on for Amoda, and a warped perception of it too, but…"
Max Thorn: "…Given the technical training their 'repair team' has, I'd say 'bought'."
Sam Spade: "…but that doesn't explain how they could both have a working train, and it breaks and they don't have the slightest clue how to fix it."
Sam Spade: "And if there's a 'tech embargo,' how did they buy a train?"
Sam Spade: "I think the one you're thinking of was rather more specific."
A shadow soon looms over the engine car - the wings of a salamence, large even for the dragon, head coming up to about 2.5 meters high with wings curving up to 4, and wrinkles visible.
Linnea: "WHOA."
Sam Spade: "….Then, too. This place is old. Like really, really old. The train can't be…"
Sam Spade: "…oh, my. You are really quite large."
Max Thorn looks up. "…Hm."
The salamence peers over the unloading operation, then turns his face toward the party. "Amodans. I can tell by your scent. But…you have helped us. Please explain."
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 19 (2 2 4 4 5 2) (Pokemon Ed for PokeManiac)
Max Thorn raises both eyebrows.
Max Thorn: "We're professional troubleshooters, and had gained knowledge prior to traveling here which suggested that the Gaela chain had a number of issues which needed fixing. So, we've been fixing them."
Sam Spade: "Also, why would we not help you?"
"Because you're Amodans," the salamence snorts.
Sam Spade: "…I don't follow. Why would Amodans not help you?"
Salamence: "Because they come here to raid. Steal. Plunder." He frowns; the tops of his eyes alone seem to travel more than the height of any party member's torso during the motion. "Enslave."
Sam Spade: "When was the last time that happened?"
Max Thorn: "Contrary to what your culture has to say about our country, Amoda is not a nation of pirates or slavers."
Salamence: "The best mannered of them merely trade, but even that is to their benefit first and foremost."
Sam Spade: "Max, keep in mind that from a certain point of view…"
The salamence sits back. "I heard they stopped bothering us a few years ago. Obviously they have not: you're here now."
Sam Spade: "So fifth-hand stories."
Sam Spade: "…Pretty typical from what I've seen."
Max Thorn: "(This fellow's seen many decades, so probably not fifth-hand in his case.)"
Salamence: "Regardless. You HAVE helped us."
The salamence looks away, seeming bored. "If you wish a boon, name it, but keep it appropriate."
Max Thorn: "I wish to free Ho-oh, so that his mate may have peace again."
Max Thorn: "…But if that's not within your power, assistance in achieving that goal would be the boon I'd seek."
Sam Spade: "If nothing else, passage to Ho-oh's Roost."
Max's request earns a sidelong glance from the salamence. "A high goal. What makes you think you can-"
Linnea: "What they said."
The salamence GLARES at Sam. "No. That place is forbidden until Ho-Oh returns."
Esme: "Even if one of the people asking is Lugia's Champion?"
Esme all but eyebrow waggles.
Sam Spade: "I apologize if I didn't understand. All we want to do is go to where Ignacia went."
Max Thorn closes his eyes, briefly, and draws upon Shaymin's power for a brief moment. "With Shaymin's blessings. That's what makes me think I can."
Sam Spade: "I thought that was Ho-oh's Roost."
Sam Spade: "Was I mistaken?"
Salamence: "Ho! You have some humor, at least. Lugia's Champion? Shaymin's blessings?"
Linnea: "Meloetta's chosen."
Max Thorn is limned with Shaymin's green fire for a moment, long enough for Salamance to see.
Salamence: "…"
Sam Spade: "Nothing special about me except that Stormcloud's pichu hates me. Sorry."
Melo-Skitty prances up next to Linnea. "My champion, could you toss me up to his face? I want to rub his nose in what he has gotten into - literally."
Linnea scoops up the Skitty, and - heave!
Max Thorn opens his mouth, then closes it when Meloetta comes up.
Max Thorn: "See if you can do something about his prideful nature, Meloetta."
Melo-Skitty twirls and transforms mid-air - with more than one step apparently borrowed from Linnea. She finishes just as she reaches the apex of her arc, the salamence's disbelieving eyes focused on her.
Meloetta then comes down, striking with an elbow on the bridge of the salamence's nose. "BAD high priest! APOLOGIZE!"
The unloading crowd behind the party has stopped, staring at this display. Many jaws are dropped.
Sam Spade coughs, feigning embarrassment.
Linnea: "Hahaha holy shit."
Salamence: "Whaaa…okay, okay!" His head is on the ground, forelimbs protecting his nose. "You may leave, and go there!"
Max Thorn: "Perhaps you could provide for us a guide? I don't fancy ringing bells with Meloetta if I don't have to, see."
Meloetta pirouettes and curtsies to Linnea. "You empower me, my champion. I could never have done that by myself. That felt…good."
Linnea: "Heehee!"
Linnea wiggles in place, a little.
Salamence: "A guide…will be difficult. None save I have been there, and I dare not go. Not now."
Sam Spade: "Can you give us directions, at least?"
Max Thorn: "Mmm. So we won't have to worry about other pokemon blocking our path, then?"
Salamence: "The train can take you. Flip the switch just before you get to town."
Salamence: "Many have gone in, without my permission. None have returned."
Sam Spade: "And of course since none have returned, no one knows why."
Max Thorn: "…Right. Anti-ghost measures, then."
Max Thorn ponders. "Or I'm going to have to use Shaymin's power again."
Meloetta: "This is a place that needs song returned to it - and I should not intrude on Ho-Oh's domain. My champion, I shall remain here for now; perhaps we shall meet again in Amoda."
Linnea bows to Meloetta once more. "Until we meet again…"
Linnea: "I shall look forward to it."
Petri taps on Sam's shoulder, then gestures into the engine car. "A word, if you have a moment?"
Sam Spade: "Uh, certainly, Professor."
Sam Spade leads Petri into the car.
Linnea raises an eyebrow but lets Petri go along.
Esme: "Mrr."
Petri follows until they are out of direct sight of most outside, then whispers, "I think you're right about the train. This…I heard Amoda was trying to set up mass transit several decades ago, but then the prototype vanished. From what I recall, this train looks like it could have been that."
Sam Spade: "…The odd thing is that this isn't the first train we've ridden on since we came to Gaela."
Sam Spade: "Thank you, though. It fits…"
Petri: "I know. But the other one was of local manufacture, I've no doubt about that."
Petri: "There are a few modifications, but…I want to get a closer look at the rails. They seem…I don't know, like they were placed by something large, that doesn't exactly have hands." She looks at the wall, in the direction of salamence.
Sam Spade: "If nothing else, we'll get a closer look when we get off the train."
Sam Spade: "…Do you think you should come with us? To the Roost?"
Petri taps her lip. "Oh, definitely I should come. Safer there than here if what I'm afraid of is true."
Petri: "You're the one who'd be able to verify this. Maybe you're just rubbing off on me, or maybe I'm just paranoid, but…let's say you were large and in charge once your god vanished. Aaand let's say you had some mechanical ability - from more than human learning."
Petri: "And you were the only one who had 'approved' access to where your god was last seen. And maybe you suspected your god was still there, trapped."
Petri: "I'm getting a bad feeling about why those other explorers didn't return."
Petri looks at Sam. "Does that make sense, or am I just worrying for no good reason?"
Sam Spade hesitates.
Sam Spade: "…Are you suggesting that someone might not want Ho-oh back?"
Petri nods.
Sam Spade closes her lips, and looks outside.
Fortunately, the salamence does not appear to have heard any of this. He is currently getting lectured to by Meloetta.
Sam Spade: "Definitely something to bear in mind."
Among the lecturing is why he didn't just fly to town to bring supplies back.
Sam Spade: "I wonder if I can confirm it?"
Max Thorn watches the lecturing for a bit, then quietly retreats to the train.
Max Thorn: "…Confirm what?"
Sam Spade leans over to Max and whispers "Petri is worried the high priest may be happy as the sole source of authority."
Linnea just heads to the train, followed by Miator and Lulim.
Sam Spade passes Linnea on her way out, and takes a careful look at the Salamence. How does it seem to be responding to the lecturing?
[OOC] Sam Spade: Should I roll perception? Intuition? ….Charm?
[OOC] WC GM: Intuition would be best for this sort of read.
Max Thorn: "…It wouldn't surprise me. I wasn't gonna say in front of him, but…he's level 100, and his life seems artificially sustained beyond the normal span for a salamence. Probably the same thing letting him be so large."
[OOC] Sam Spade: …Damn, I never ranked that one up. Would this be considered Lie Detection? She's looking to see if the High Priest is hiding sullen resentment or something on those lines.
Esme rolls up at this line delivery.
Esme: "He's what now?"
[OOC] WC GM: It's not quite Lie Detection, but Perception can work too.
Linnea: "Oh… oh dear."
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 19 (2 5 2 5 5) (Perception)
Linnea: "So what you're saying is, be thankful I'm so heavily invested in fae magics."
Max Thorn: "Artificially sustained. I can't tell how, though."
[OOC] Sam Spade: Lie Detection would have been 2d6+6, so decent, but I'd rather 5d6.
Max Thorn: "Either he's borrowing someone's power, or something's funneling it in to him without his knowledge."
Sam gets the distinct vibe of middle management being chewed out by upper management, trying to save face and still get away with what he can. There is almost definitely hidden resentment, but the salamence knows quite well this is not the time to display it.
Esme sighs as she heads to the train controls. "That's not foreboding at all!"
Linnea: "Mrr…"
Sam Spade: Sam heads back into the cabin.
Sam Spade: "I think Petri's right."
The volbeat leans his head into the engine car, illumise wrapped around him like a large loving scarf. "If you're about to head off, I've detached the other cars for you."
Sam Spade: "Thank you, Mr. Volbeat!"
Max Thorn: "But…given he's supposed to be a priest of some sort…I'd bet on it being a blessing from the person he serves."
Esme: "Appreciated!"
Sam Spade: "If…when Meloetta is done with the High Priest, would you please let them know we'll be back soon?"
Volbeat: "Sure. And bring this back, alright? I mean, unless you know where we can get another one."
Sam Spade: "Of course!"
Sam Spade: "…Though, the mining colony between the Port of the Sand and the Port of the Snow seemed to have trains, so maybe there?"
Volbeat: "That was a jo-" He blinks. "You're…not joking."
Volbeat: "There's another one?!?"
Sam Spade: "Well, we rode from there to the Port of the Sand in it."
Esme nod nods.
Sam Spade: "I mean, it's not like it's some mystical thing that was granted from on high, you know?"
Sam Spade: "It was made by mortal hands."
Volbeat: "Err…it kind of was!"
Sam Spade: "Oh?"
Volbeat: "Just - one day, bamf, blessing from on high at our high priest's feet."
Max Thorn: "If that's what the salamence told you, I'm going to have to have a word when we get back."
Volbeat: "We never questioned how he pulled it off."
Sam Spade: "Strange. Because they made one in Amoda and it disappeared one day."
Volbeat: "…"
Esme: "Curious!"
Sam Spade: "What a curious world we live in, don't you think?"
Volbeat: "So…THIS is what they meant when they said Port of the Sand knows how to fix trains?"
Sam Spade: "Maybe don't tell the high priest we'll be back? Not without plenty of witnesses."
Linnea: "…I've got a bad feeling about this."
Illumise: "Maybe Karen reverse engineered it? She does that." She waves to Linnea. "Hello again. You're looking younger these days."
Linnea: "Wait, what?"
Linnea headtilts at the Illumise. "Um, explain?"
Sam Spade: "I've started wondering if Karen is your sister?"
The illumise peers. "You…are Karen, right? Sorry, it's been a while."
Linnea: "If this is about Saya- er, Karen…"
Esme: "Lin has a sister?"
Linnea: "No, I'm Linnea."
Illumise: "Oh! I'm sorry. I don't meet very many humans."
Sam Spade: "The downside to working in a place like this, I suppose. Lots of pokemon, not many humans."
Linnea: "Gods, I'm so lost."
From Esme's position, she can see the rail line loops at the station, meaning the engine car can proceed "ahead" without clearing the still-being-unloaded container cars.
Sam Spade: "Well, Karen looks like Linnea - you didn't notice because Butler was using an illusion to make her look like Petri instead."
Sam Spade: "He didn't drop that until we were in the process of leaving."
Esme: "Speaking of…anything before I hit the 'go'?"
Sam Spade: "Also Karen's parents disappeared in a gout of fire when she was a child. That might have been Ignacia killing them, or it might have been Ignacia doing a random teleport, or maybe Moltres yanked them to safety, or…"
Sam Spade: "Yeah. Be wise to traps."
Sam Spade: "…Also we need to let our hosts off before we depart."
Sam Spade: "Did you two need anything?"
Linnea: "Hey, that's not the preferred term these days."
Linnea snorts.
Volbeat: "We're good."
Sam Spade blinks at Linnea
Sam Spade: "Alright, I think we're off, then. Best to resolve this as soon as we can."
Illumise: "All I need…" She hugs her husband a bit more fiercely. "…is right here." She steps off the car, pulling him away.
Sam Spade: "Stay safe!"
Linnea: "… okay, that one's kind of vague, nevermind."
Sam Spade: "Okay, Esme, get us rolling. And be aware that the high priest, who set up the train tracks, probably doesn't want Ho-oh to come back."
Esme: "Will keep it in mind. Off we go!" She sets things in motion.
Linnea: "So, get ready to beat up a dragon."
Linnea: "Got it."
Esme: "I should figure out how to teach Gervy Ice Punch at some point… I think Nidokings can learn it, right?"
Linnea: "Let's see…"
Linnea consults her "PDA" .
Sam Spade: "I think I can teach him, if we have time."
Linnea: "Ah! Yes! Through specialized tutoring, it is possible!"
[OOC] Esme: Soon [tm]
Max Thorn: "What she said."
Esme: "Neat! Though I guess he'll need to feel up to it to."
Gervais yawns, giving an "Eh, maybe?" kind of motion.
Linnea: "If we're going to be tutoring…" She flips through pages of data.
Esme is entirely capable of acting as this train's engineer - considering as the controls are little more than a forward/reverse lever and a switch for emergency brake.
Linnea is thankful there's no math needed for these brakes.
Max Thorn sits with his pokemon for this trip… ((Daily training XP gained))
[OOC] WC GM: *forward/neutral/reverse lever
[OOC] Max Thorn: presumably also the switch for shifting to the Roost route?
[OOC] WC GM: Nope. Typing that up, though.
The train trip back takes another couple hours. The switch to Ho-Oh's Roost was hidden on the trip out; it is still not that noticeable on the way back unless one is looking for it. There is a note attached, warning that no one should touch it without permission on pain of having their souls extracted and incinerated. The sign is decades old and signed "I" , but Sam and Max recognize the handwriting.
Linnea: "What the fuck?"
Max Thorn: "… I swear to Arceus."
Linnea: "I bet he gets that a lot."
Sign aside, the switch is easy to flip, if taking a bit of muscle to overcome the rust.
Sam Spade: "I wonder if it's the high priest who does the incineration?"
Esme does the honours. "Oof. Can tell this doesn't get much use."
Esme: "Can Salamence learn Incinerate?"
Linnea consults…
Linnea: "Yes."
Esme: "Heh."
Linnea: "By TM."
Max Thorn: "Unless his name starts with an I…no, I think this is Ignacia."
Sam Spade: "…That would fit, too."
That done, it takes another hour to reach the end of the line - no station here, just a rail loop right before the right-of-way heads into a large cave with torches lining the walls.
Linnea: "ugh."
Shattered pokemon skeletons can be seen a ways within.
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "Foreboding!"
Even Lulim seems anxious.
Some of the skeletons have bits of gear, most of it as broken as the skeletons are.
Max Thorn pokes around, carefully.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Perception?
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 17 (4 2 6 4 1) (Perception)
Max Thorn rolled up 4d6: 18 (4 6 3 5)
Linnea: "…hey, Esme? Can you feel it? The energy's all gone. There's NOTHING."
Linnea: "It's like…magi-physical deafening silence."
Sam Spade: "Smash plate up there, too."
Max Thorn: "Lots of traps. Old-fashioned ones, but that doesn't mean they're not deadly."
Sam Spade: "Probably triggered by a pressure plate."
Linnea: "Hrgh…"
Esme: "Zero."
Linnea: "Z-zero…"
Max Thorn: "…And the crystal on the plate here resembles the anti-psi crystals."
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Sam Spade: "…So maybe not a pressure plate."
Mia grimaces.
Sam Spade: "Maybe a puller plate."
Linnea: "… Is this really the time, Sam?"
Sam Spade: "If you try to levitate through, squish."
[OOC] WC GM: Esme or Linnea looking close at the ceiling?
[OOC] Linnea: Yeah.
Max Thorn looks for a path 'round.
[OOC] Esme: Aaaall arounds
Linnea rolls her eyes in exasperation and just stares at the ceiling.
Sam Spade blinks
Sam Spade: "I don't know about you, Linnea, but I'd rather not be squished flat. That means knowing what might set off the traps that will kill us."
Sam Spade: "Because one way or another, we have to get through here to free Ho-oh."
Linnea: "Mm…"
Linnea suddenly goes very, very pale. "Um…"
Sam Spade: "…Yeah?"
Esme: "Oh. WOW."
Esme: "Yeah ghosts won't be a problem here."
Linnea: "D-don't set this off or we'll get annihilated."
Esme: "Which is both good, and also disturbing."
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "This sort of thing shouldn't exist…"
Esme: "Oui. Trap is /very/ thorough."
Linnea sniffs.
Max Thorn: "What kind of hell-machine destroys *souls*?!?"
Linnea: "I don't know…"
Unfortunately, the ceiling plate lines the entire tunnel. It seems this trap will have to be disarmed or bypassed somehow.
Sam Spade: "Well, Iggy did say."
Max Thorn: "Looks like we'll have to disarm or bypass it, somehow…so, Lin and Esme, over to you."
Linnea lets out a sob, trying to calm down and find a way…
Esme pats Linn on the shoulder. "We'll figure something out."
Digging a bit, the near edge of the floor pressure plate can be found. It appears to be sensitive enough to detect someone flying over it.
Linnea: "T-the problem is, this plate's still in the tunnel, right? So we can't really set it off and make a run for it…"
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Sam Spade: "Esme, how breakable are those crystals?"
Esme: "Does it come down in waves, or all at once… Either way…" She perks. "Mmm?"
Linnea: "H-hey! What if they go off when they break?"
Max Thorn: "Set a bomb off in here?"
That is about the time the party notices Tim, Sands, and Petri are no longer present.
Sam Spade: "Then we'd better back off before we try anything, but if we can break part of it…"
Sam Spade: "Also-"
Esme: "I mean, breaking things is /always/ an option!"
Sam Spade: "…Where did Sands go? Can he dig around it? But he's gone."
Sam Spade: "So are Tim and Petri."
Esme: "…But there should be some way to just go around it."
Sam Spade walks carefully back to where the others were, scanning everything very carefully looking for tunnels.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 19 (4 2 2 6 5) (Perception)
Linnea: "This isn't something I could shield against, I reckon."
It does not take long for Sam to find a telltale freshly dug hole in the wall.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Big enough for Sam to head through?
[OOC] WC GM: Barely, but yes.
Sam Spade: "I think they went through here. Shall we?"
Linnea: "Ah, sure!"
Esme: "Oh! Let Gervy lead the way. He can make it more… 'us'-sized."
[OOC] Esme: Put that Groundshaper to work
Sam Spade: "Alright!"
Max Thorn: "Sounds good to me. After you."
The tunnel leads down a bit, then into a poorly-lit chamber - the underside of the pressure plate, with a bit of torchlight leaking through. Tim and Petri are examining the mechanism while Sands takes a rest.
Esme: "There you are!"
Tim: "Oh, hey there! We're just working out how this got built."
Linnea: "Through hellish thinking."
Linnea: "I feel sick at the thought."
Petri: "This is remarkably fine work for oversized salamence feet, but I can see it. Looks like there's a timer: you're meant to run through. If you're going cautiously, like most intruders would…" She shakes her head, then smashes fist into open palm.
Linnea: "…"
Max Thorn: "… I see."
Sam Spade: "I'd wondered. If we hadn't noticed that you'd gone around, I think the next step was to try to trigger the device to see the refresh rate."
Sands, having recovered, digs on up the far side, back into the tunnel.
Petri: "If this is right at the entrance, what redundant traps await?"
Max Thorn: "No time like the present to find out."
Linnea: "What could be worse than this?"
Sam Spade: "I'm sure he thought of something."
Linnea: "…actually, don't even answer that."
Esme examines the plate. How 'fine' is this fine work?
Less fine than Esme could do, but obviously experienced hands. Or paws, in this case.
Esme: "That long lifespan holds true then. He's been at this at a bit. Buuuut…"
Esme sees if she can just disconnect or adjust the trigger mechanism…
[OOC] WC GM: Tech Ed check
Esme rolled up 6d6+1: 17 (1 5 2 4 3 1) (1 AP, Wirecutters Solve Problems?)
Esme is pretty sure she has disconnected the reset mechanism, at least, and remembers the bit about it being on a timer just as a "tickatickaticka" reaches her ears.
Max Thorn: "I wonder if he collaborated with Ignacia to build this."
Esme: "Hmm."
Esme: "We should probably go."
Tim and Petri scramble up the tunnel.
Esme hoofs it.
Sam Spade follows!
Max Thorn legs it
Linnea bolts!
There is a massive WHAM as the ceiling comes down, piston and all, behind the party.
Linnea: "Hgrhgrhgrhrhk-"
Up ahead, the tunnel spreads in two, paths hugging the walls to surround a pit of sharpened stalagmites.
[OOC] WC GM: Perception check, all.
Max Thorn rolled up 4d6: 15 (5 5 3 2)
Esme rolled up 2d6: 8 (3 5) (Buh)
Linnea rolled up 3d6: 12 (1 5 6)
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 20 (6 3 1 4 6) (Time to run?)
Linnea: "… Look at the walls near the ceiling."
Linnea: "Those are stained, but the pits aren't?"
Linnea: "What does this mean?"
Sam Spade: "That's not a pit."
Linnea: "I wonder if it's like…"
Sam Spade: "That's a painting."
Sam Spade: "That's a really, really good painting, but it's a painting."
Linnea makes a swooping upward motion.
Linnea: "So it's really a crusher?"
Esme: "Noticing a theme."
Max Thorn: "Another crusher. What fun."
Linnea: "I feel ill."
Esme bends down and peers along the 'pit'.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, he likes his obvious-traps-as-trigger-for-real-trap."
Max Thorn: "I think he has a crush on the concept."
Linnea: "I hate you."
Sam Spade looks carefully at the ceiling, at at the edges of the pit painting.
Sure enough, the 'pit' is a painting, and can be safely walked upon.
Sam Spade: "I'm thinking we can just walk over that, but if we step on the sides, squish."
Esme hops up.
Esme: "Straight shot it is, then."
Max Thorn: "Logical."
Sam Spade: "….But I'm not sure I want to-"
Esme lands - seemingly walking on air.
Sam Spade: "…Well, here goes."
Sam Spade follows Esme.
[OOC] WC GM: Perception check, Sam and Esme.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 16 (1 2 2 5 6) (Perception)
Esme rolled up 2d6: 6 (5 1)
Sam Spade grabs Esme by the shirt.
Sam Spade: "Stop!"
Esme: "Oof!"
Sam Spade: "There's nothing under that part of the painting."
Sam Spade: "The walls look clear, though."
Esme wobbles on one foot. "T-Triple trap?"
Sam Spade hesitates, then moves to the side of the painting, and walks around the *real* pit.
Sam's foot brushes over the end of the trapped side. Behind her, the floor springs up, smashing empty air into ceiling.
Sam Spade: "Arceus!"
Sam Spade: "….Okay. So…step…*past* there…"
Esme coughs.
Esme: "Right…"
Sam Spade walks to the end of the side, gets off, and sits down.
Petri: "Let's follow them. Exactly." She begins planting footstep by footstep, tracing Sam's path.
Linnea stays close to Petri, looking terrified.
Tim and Sands follow in Linnea's footsteps.
Sam Spade: "I really hate him. I really, really hate him."
Linnea: "… I wanna kill him. I wanna…"
Linnea: "How dare you destroy someone's soul…"
Max follows along…
Sam Spade: "…Alright. Next trap."
Sam Spade gets to her feet, then scans the corridor for whatever the high priest and Ignacia came up with next.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 14 (4 1 4 4 1) (Perception)
Up ahead, there is a statue of Ho-Oh, about a meter tall on a meter-high pedestal, apparently carved from ruby. A transparent - glass or quartz - column encircles it, going right up to the ceiling.
Sam Spade: "…Something is off about the ceiling."
Sam Spade: "Two crushers so far, so…"
Tim and Sands stare at the statue.
Petri whistles. "That…would fetch a large research budget."
Linnea: "I mean, I'd support it, at this rate."
Esme: "Watch like…the whole cave flip itself over."
Esme: "He /really/ had a bunch of time to set all this up."
Sam Spade: "This is true."
Sam looks around the tunnel for a fist-sized rock.
Max Thorn looks past the statue. Does the tunnel go on?
The tunnel does indeed go on. The next room is a proper cavern, with lots of slagged rock in spots: two mighty fire users did battle here.
[OOC] WC GM: Sam: Perception check again.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 16 (4 1 3 5 3) (Perception)
Sam soon finds a suitable throwing object. Looks more like an apricorn than a rock, but it is hard enough.
[OOC] Max Thorn: oh boy
Sam Spade: "…Spent local pokeball?"
[OOC] WC GM: What are Esme and Linnea doing?
Esme peers at the statue from a… what she presumes to be a safe distance.
Linnea closes her eyes, trying to sense something from the statue.
[OOC] WC GM: Perception or Tech Ed.
Esme rolled up 6d6: 22 (2 5 3 5 6 1) (Can't See, Can Science)
Linnea rolled up 3d6: 8 (3 4 1) (Perception)
Max Thorn: "Hmm…" Max looks at the apricorn-like object.
Esme: "…"
Esme: "…Fake!"
[OOC] Max Thorn: Tech Ed?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Max Thorn: "What I thought."
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 24 (5 6 4 4 4 1)
Linnea: "Wait…then what is its purpose?"
Max Thorn: "Trap."
Esme: "Yeah."
Esme: "He wants you to break the glass, then presumably get broken."
Linnea: "Rrf."
Linnea: "So we just ignore this one?"
Sam Spade: "So if we just walk past, then?"
Max Thorn: "Don't throw that ball, Sam. It really is a poke ball."
Sam Spade hesitates.
Max Thorn: "Might even have a Pokémon in it."
Sam Spade: "Is it…used? Is there someone in it?"
Sam Spade: "Ah, the ceiling is loose. That makes sense."
Linnea: "I hope it's not the -remains- of someone, like before…"
Max Thorn: "Same."
Linnea: "Should we release them?"
Sam Spade: "…Not where it will drop that ceiling on us."
Esme: "…As long as-Yeah."
Sam Spade: "Let's head past it, to the open space."
Max Thorn: "Quite."
Sam Spade cradles the pokeball, then walks carefully and gingerly past the shrine.
Linnea follows.
The battle-scarred cavern does not seem to have any traps. Or much of anything, really, though some of the melted slag might once have been furniture or held writing.
Esme: "Guess he didn't expect anyone to make it this far."
Max looks around the arena for anything that might have survived.
Max Thorn: "We're not out of the caves yet."
Sam Spade: "Do we have enough room to let the occupant out?"
Sam Spade: "And Max, are you up for healing them if required?"
There are signs of digging, and signs of smashing. It looks like whoever won this battle was looking for something - and judging by a few things deliberately and carefully scorched and melted, lost temper probably upon not finding it.
Max Thorn: "Yes." He doesn't hesitate.
Linnea: "…Fire?"
This cavern certainly has enough room. Even the wailord would fit in here, many times over.
Sam Spade: "Iggy versus Ho-oh."
Sam Spade: "…Which makes me wonder…"
Max Thorn: "Someone went looking for something, and then got really upset when they didn't find it."
Sam Spade: "Okay, I'm going to let them out. Ready, Max?"
Max Thorn: "Go for it."
Sam Spade triggers the pokeball.
[OOC] Max Thorn: pick up here next week?
[OOC] WC GM: That looks like a good cutoff point, yeah.

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